It's been a very busy week in the transfer market for Sunderland, with two new signings, more rumours of players departing and a whole host of new names linked.
Before we get into that, our updated list of players linked with the club so far:
Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)
Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (Stade Rennais)
Santiago Vergini (Estudiantes)
Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina)
Caner Erkin (Fenerbache)
Gordan Bunoza (Wisla Krakow)
Will Buckley (Brighton)
Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa)
Raul Meireles (Fenerbache)
Matt Grimes (Exeter)
Josh McEachran (Chelsea)
Diego Capel (Sporting Lisbon)
Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff)
Fabio Borini (Liverpool)
Martin Kelly (Liverpool
Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce)
Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon)
Ever Banega (Valencia)
Jordon Mutch (Cardiff)
Daniele Dessena (Cagliari)
Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos)
Christopher Forrester (St Pats.)
Billy Jones (West Brom)
Jordi Gomez (Wigan)
Costel Pantilimon (Man City)
Michael Mancienne (Hamburg)
Kevin Chaurand (Celaya)
10 new names have been added to the list this week, taking our running total to 27. From the 10 new names, there is one goalkeeper, one right back, one central defender, five central midfielders, one winger and one striker. It's no surprise that the rumours are central midfielder heavy this week, with Craig Gardner having already left the club, Ki Sung-Yueng's loan deal expiring and the futures of both Jack Colback and Seb Larsson remaining up in the air.
We'll start off with the two new signings. Sunderland have confirmed that Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez will join the club from July 1 after their contracts expired at West Brom and Wigan respectively. The duo should replace Phil Bardsley and Gardner in the squad and both look to be a better fit for Poyet's brand of football than the players they have replaced, while also bringing the wage bill down. A promising start to our summer business.
Before we get to this week's gossip, we'll go over the outgoing rumours. Larsson and Colback's futures are still unresolved, with Larsson looking the more likely of the two to stay after the Swedish international confirmed he is still talking to the club. Colback looks likely to end his spell at Sunderland in the near future, with Newcastle and West Ham fighting it out for his signature. West Ham appear favourites to sign the academy graduate after reportedly offering the midfielder £50,000 per week, a figure that neither ourselves nor Newcastle seem likely to try and match.
David Moberg Karlsson has signalled his desire to find a new club, with his agent admitting that the young Swedish winger wants to leave the Stadium of Light, although the transfer fee is likely to be a sticking point to any potential deal. Billy Knott has joined Bradford City after being released from Sunderland, Knott spent almost four years on Wearside but despite impressive loan spells couldn't make the breakthrough into the first team, with only a solitary substitute appearance to his name.
Steve Bruce has been linked with a £5m move for Adam Johnson, a move that looks like a complete non-starter. 26-year-old Johnson joined Sunderland two years ago from Manchester City for a fee of £10m and has two years left on his contract, after topping the charts for goals and assists in the season just ended, the fact the Daily Mail believe we would take a £5m loss on him is ludicrous. While we may cash in if we get a suitable offer, if Gus Poyet believes he can better use the funds elsewhere, any such offer will have to be around the same fee we paid Man City.
With Gardner and Ki having left the club and Colback and Larsson possibly following suit, Poyet has been linked with possible moves for Jordon Mutch of Cardiff and Valencia's Ever Banega as potential replacements.
Mutch has just come off a stand-out season in the Premier League with Cardiff, where he got 7 goals and 8 assists in 37 appearances in all competitions. It's believed Cardiff want to hold onto the 22-year old, despite their relegation, so it may take a relatively big fee to convince the Welsh club to part with him but the midfielder had two notable games against Poyet's Sunderland, getting a goal and an assist in the 2-2 in December and having a running spat with Lee Cattermole throughout Sunderland's 4-0 home win in April, so the Uruguayan will no doubt be well aware of Mutch's quality.
Sunderland were linked with a move for Banega in January but the Argentine international opted to join his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys on loan until the end of the season. 25-year-old Banega is a bit of character to say the least but there is no doubting his quality and with only one year left on his contract Valencia are looking to cash in. The midfielder will have no shortage of suitors, with Everton and Manchester United also interested in a player who will be competing in this summer's World Cup, so Poyet and Congerton will have a fight on their hands to sign him but he would fit into Poyet's Sunderland team tremendously and it would be a huge coup should we manager to clinch his signature.
We've also been tentatively linked with experienced defensive midfielders, Daniele Dessena and Giannis Maniatis. According to Italian media outlet SportMediaset, Sunderland have an interest in Cagliari's 27-year-old former Italy under-21 international Dessena, and Greek newspaper Gazzetta have reported that Sunderland, Everton and one other unnamed Premier League club are fighting it out for the services of Giannis Maniatis of Olympiakos. It's likely that neither player is high on Sunderland's wanted list but if our interest is genuine, then expect them to be back up to our first choice targets.
With it looking unlikely that Oscar Ustari will sign a new deal, Sunderland are searching for another experienced goalkeeper to fight it out with Vito Mannone for the number one spot and after being linked with Crystal Palace's out of contract Julian Speroni have now been linked with a move for another out of contract goalkeeper in Costel Pantilimon. Pantilimon, who played against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final, was desperate to leave City for first team football, so it may be difficult to persuade him to join without the promise of the number one shirt.
Considering Michael Mancienne's links to Lee Congerton, both at Chelsea and Hamburg, he was always going to be a name that cropped up in the gossip columns in relation to Sunderland and so it has proved. According to the Mirror, Sunderland are leading the chase for the 26-year-old defender who is reportedly available for a knock down fee with only one year left on his contract. As he has experience in the Premier League, is available for a fee that wouldn't break the bank and has pace, Mancienne potentially signing for Sunderland could be a sensible transfer, particularly with John O'Shea and Wes Brown not getting any younger.
Finally, the club are looking to boost the development squad after a number of players were released this summer. Mexican striker Kevin Chaurand is due to link up for the team on trial in pre-season from Celaya in the hopes of winning a permanent deal, while Sunderland scouts were present as St. Patrick's Athletic beat Derry 5-2, with St. Pats winger Chris Forrester the focus of their attentions.
That's your lot for this week but stay tuned to Roker Report throughout the summer as we keep you up to date with all the transfer news and rumours. Also, feel free to keep in touch with our dedicated Transfer Centre, which you can do by CLICKING HERE.