A £15m Lifeline?
With a current bid lodged for a player, likely upwards of £10m, it seems clear that Sunderland have found some money for David Moyes to strengthen his side. £10m is certainly the minimum figure required to land Robbie Brady from Norwich, though it is likely an offer nearer £13m would be required to seal the deal - in cash. And even then, a minor bidding war has yet to kick off for the Irish international.
But, as at tonight, we understand a sum has now been made available to the Sunderland boss in order to enable him to bring in a body or two quickly. That figure is roughly 15 million pounds, give or take a few quid dependent on any purchase made. It's not gospel, and certainly not official, but it's about as good as we can get for now.
We also understand that a potential release of immediate funds would be on top of any sum Moyes can bring in through player sales, and is probably a direct handout sanctioned by owner Ellis Short.
How the club will enable such trading in the face of Financial Fair Play restrictions is unclear - but at this stage, with a side immersed in a dreadful run of form and conceding goals at alarming frequency without much reply - perhaps that is the least of our concern as supporters right now.
Sunderland still have options beyond that initial hit too, which would include outgoing deals for the rumoured players they are prepared to sell - the likes of Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone - plus any bids for those out on loan - Sebastian Coates and Jeremain Lens.
Though, with neither Sporting Lisbon or Fenerbahçe in any hurry to shell out cash for the latter two, Sunderland will likely have to wait until the summer to see any funds flood in for that pair.
So, aside from Robbie Brady - who are Sunderland looking at?
According to The Sun, the Argentinian hitman has handed in a transfer request having grown frustrated at Leicester City. Ulloa was a Sunderland target in the summer and some say David Moyes had readied himself for a swoop before the plug was pulled by owner Ellis Short.
West Brom, Swansea, Hull and Sunderland are the sides said to have been put on standby by today's news. And competition will likely be fierce for the frontman who has a career hit rate of one goal in three.
Claudio Ranieri is unlikely to shift him without a replacement lined up though. Leicester have already lost striker Islam Slimani until next month as a result of the African Cup of Nations. Any deal for Ulloa may be very late in the window as a result.
Almost certainly on Moyes' radar, Jagielka would walk straight into the current Sunderland line-up and add some clout to a back-line which has conceded 14 goals in its last 6 outings.
David Moyes admitted after the Stoke City defeat at the weekend that he may ordinarily have dropped his current first choice centre-back, Papy Djilobodji, after the hammering his defence took. The Senegalese defender was unable to deal with Peter Crouch in a game which brutally exposed his flaws. The Sunderland boss also hinted that he has noticed 'moments' in other games in which he has noted the £8m-signing's weaknesses at the back.
And you would imagine someone like Jagielka would at least go some way to restoring Moyes' faith in his defence. But any move to Wearside would have to wait on the outcome of the player's requested talks with Ronald Koeman over his future. The 34-year-old remains captain at Goodison Park but has increasingly found his starting spot taken by others - only making the first eleven at Everton in two of their last nine matches.
Reports in various outlets yesterday, suggested that Sunderland can have the Republic of Ireland midfielder if they are prepared to offer Lamine Kone as part of the deal. How much cash is needed to flow either way is dependent on your interpretation of what was written. Certainly Everton likely rate McCarthy at a minimum of £15m.
That price tag may put off any other would-be suitors; that is unless they happen to be in possession of an asset that Goodison boss, Ronald Koeman, has taken to a fancy to. Which we do, in a certain Ivorian defender who is currently in Africa.
Some Bloke From Porto
Porto midfielder, Andre Andre, is interesting Sunderland and Hull City according to the print edition of The Sun today.
The 27-year-old is surplus to requirements at the Portuguese giants who sit second in the Primeira Liga. At present it appears likely he may remain in his homeland though, with fellow top-division side, Vitória de Guimarães, keen on taking him.
A £5m price tag has been slapped on his head by someone unknown, but with Marco Silva now installed as boss at Hull City, links to Portuguese players are natural. Sunderland have likely been added as an after though to this one.
And The Rest...
Italian websites have added Napoli to the list of clubs who want Fabio Borini. The Sunderland striker has looked as if something is up with him of late. Whether he is unsettled by transfer talk is anyone's guess; or perhaps he fancied a winter escape back to Southern Europe but has been told that is out of the question.
Leeds striker, Chris Wood, is another one who has been linked in recent days. The 25-year-old has scored better than a goal every other game in the Championship this season. But with Gary Monk's side looking good for a pop at promotion, the West Yorkshire club have slapped a massive £15m price tag on his head to fend off would-be suitors.