With the Stadium of Light faithful recently rounding on Ellis Short and the rumour mill suggesting we're rather financially embarrassed, things aren't all rosy in the garden. Allied to that is a disastrous start to the Premier League campaign and the soundtrack on Wearside sounds depressingly like a Joy Division/Morrissey playlist.
However one little glimmer of hope is a story emanating from Italy. The attacking centre midfield position we've all hoped would be addressed this summer could be about to be filled. It's reported the Black Cats have contacted Napoli in an attempt to take Jonathan De Guzman on loan with a view to a permanent transfer.
The 27-year-old Canadian born midfielder elected to play for Netherlands and has since earned 14 caps. The rumour suggests the former Villareal man would prefer to return to the Premier League rather than Ligue 1. It had appeared that De Guzman was bound for Marseille until we've stepped in. It's surely a ringing endorsement for the English league when even though we're languishing at the bottom a player appears to want to join us over the French giants.
De Guzman has previously notched up around 70 appearances in the Premier League, plying his trade on loan at Swansea City. Notably during his time there the midfielder scored a remarkable strike against Sunderland during Poyet's first game in charge.
The Napoli man would certainly be an improvement over what we have currently. As a box-to-box midfielder with a creative spark and an eye for goal, you would expect him to serve us well in that attacking central role should the signing come to fruition.
Following the failure to get the Leroy Fer deal over the line arguably De Guzman is a better bet for the 4-3-3 system Advocaat deploys. Therefore let's hope if the rumour has any truth in it we don't fall foul of the cursed Sunderland medical this time around.