Legend & Commentator Believes Sunderland Will Have To Sell To Buy In January
Former Sunderland captain and current BBC pundit, Gary Bennett, has said it is clear that David Moyes will have no money to spend in the January transfer window, and believes the club will have to sell to raise funds for a relegation survival mission.
Speaking on BBC Newcastle, ahead of yesterday's defeat at Liverpool, Bennett remarked "it's clear there's no money" and alluded to the need to cash in on two or three saleable assets to fund an urgent rebuild.
In truth, the former defender - who is warmly remembered on Wearside for his eleven-year spell in red-and-white - has only repeated what others have been saying with renewed vigour in the last week or so.
On Tuesday, we reported that TalkSport and Sky Sports presenter, Jim White, had predicted news would break on the subject of David Moyes' non-existent January budget, warning that fans "would not be happy".
With the winter window not so much 'coming' as banging on the door, and Sunderland returned to the foot of the Premier League table, it's time someone in the press asked the question directly of David Moyes.
Boss Swerves Direct Question About M'Vila
Rubin Kazan head coach Javi Gracia was yesterday asked directly whether Yann M'Vila would sign a new contract to keep him in Russia beyond the end of the year, but the Spaniard side-stepped the question entirely.
M'Vila, who was on loan at the Stadium of Light last season, enters the final month of his current deal with Kazan next week. After a protracted summer pursuit, the Frenchman was left 'heartbroken' at not rejoining Sunderland on transfer deadline day.
David Moyes has since hinted there is some sort of pre-contract agreement in place should the player opt to leave Russia in January.
In his pre-match press conference, ahead of Kazan's fixture against CSKA Moscow yesterday, Gracia, when asked about M'Vila and the chances of a new deal, gave a suitably vague response and failed to answer the question posed:
Yann is a good player, he is making a great contribution and is constantly growing.
I understand M'Vila has not even hit his best form yet, but even at this level he is very useful for the team. I am very pleased with the way he plays.
Presumably he was not pressed any further on the matter because the interviewer was a member of the press team of the Russian club.
But, the time for David Moyes to be asked directly about this whole situation is approaching. The Sunderland boss has certainly been directly attributed with suggesting there was some sort of agreement in place when asked about M'Vila after the summer window shut.
That said, privately sources close to the club doubt if Moyes remains interested in signing Yann M'Vila, if indeed he ever was.
The bigger issue too, is the player's pay-demands. Sunderland consistently hover close to their Financial Fair Play wage limit and simply, to sign M'Vila the club would have to shift one or two big earners first. Sell to buy again.
What is glaring, and was reinforced again yesterday against Liverpool, is Sunderland's weakness in midfield. With Lee Cattermole all but ruled out for the season, David Moyes remains devoid of options in the centre of the park.
Didier Ndong and Jason Denayer looked reasonably accomplished in holding duties at Anfield, but both lack an innate ability to influence the side sufficiently to switch play from defence to attack; and, bluntly - passing is neither man's forte. Sunderland's midfield is crying out for an M'Vila-esque figure - be it the man himself or someone similar.
AFC Bournemouth Monitoring Denayer Situation?
Jason Denayer - on loan at Sunderland from Manchester City - equipped himself reasonably well in central midfield against Liverpool yesterday, barring a glaring error which led to his teammate, Didier Ndong, giving away a penalty.
That aside, Denayer has showed promise in a holding role in front of the back-four. So, it may be no surprise to learn others are monitoring his progress closely.
The 21-year-old Belgian was a man in demand in the summer. Sunderland beat Galatasaray, Swansea and Southampton to his signature on transfer deadline day.
A few transfer gossip sites across Europe, including this one, have reported AFC Bournemouth are the latest club to be watching the situation at the Stadium of Light closely, with Eddie Howe pondering a move for Denayer at the end of the season. That likely depends on Denayer continuing to impress and Sunderland being relegated and in no position to sign the player themselves.