Moyes targets revealed
According to the Daily Mail, departed Sunderland boss David Moyes had lined up a number of targets before his Monday exit which included Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and Chelsea prospect Isaiah Brown.
Moyes had certainly spoken of his intent to identify and move quickly for fresh recruits before he resigned from Sunderland. The 54-year-old is widely assumed to have exited the Stadium of Light because he feared owner Ellis Short would not back his plans.
Now with a new manager not likely any day soon, transfer business will probably have to wait until next month and the new man is settled into his office.
Though Sunderland do have at least a structure in place now to minimise the disruption of changing managers so frequently, the effectiveness of it will only be demonstrated once the summer market moves get underway.
Chief Football Officer Simon Wilson has been in post since January and technical scout Rob MacKenzie - who held the position of head of player recruitment at Leicester - has been working with the club since March.
Sunderland suffered hardest when Sam Allardyce left last year because of a lack of continuity in identifying transfer targets and planning for recruitment. When David Moyes arrived in July he only exacerbated that by seemingly dithering over signings.
And chief executive Martin Bain has at least attempted to minimise the risk of such summer disruption occurring again by putting some structure in place to ensure football business does not rely solely on the position of manager - which changes so often at the Stadium of Light. How effective that might be, is about to be tested.
Former Manchester City man Wilson's role has never been entirely clear, despite being launched with an entirely clear remit. Arriving with a background in performance analysis, the 38-year-old was handed oversight of the club's academy, scouting department and other functions such as its medical team.
With zero public presence since, Director of Football-lite Wilson appears to have disappeared into the bowels of the Academy Light. Since his arrival, Sunderland have appointed a new academy manager in Jimmy Sinclair and David Moyes became an occasional visitor to provincial football grounds around the country personally scouting targets. The Chief Football Officer is presumably doing something else.
So are these two any good?
Regardless, Sunderland will need to get the summer rebuild underway quickly with so many first team members still to wave goodbye to and a fresh batch of talent suitable for the second-tier to identify and welcome.
Burnley's Scott Arfield is a Canadian international who has been with the Clarets since 2013 and has made over 150 appearances for them.
Born and raised in Scotland, the 28-year-old emerged through the Falkirk youth system and made his debut a little under a decade ago against Gretna.
After The Bairns were relegated from the SPL in 2010, Arfield made his way to England where he spent 3 years at Huddersfield before being snapped up by Sean Dyche at Burnley. He is under contract with the West Yorkshire outfit until 2018.
The 5ft 10in midfielder featured 31 times in the Premier League last term, generally on the left side of midfield. With Dyche looking to add some quality to his side after cementing Burnley's place in the Premier League, the 7-time capped Canadian may find his opportunities limited next season.
Arfield has previously been thought to be a target for Newcastle though the links to Rafa have cooled recently. Burnley are said to be keen to extend his deal at Turf Moor.
And Chelsea's Isaiah Brown is an intriguing prospect. At 20-years-old, the forward-cum-winger seems to have been around for years and has yet to make a definitive breakthrough.
The 5ft 11in dribbler made his senior debut at the age of 16 for West Brom before being sucked into the talent hoover that is Chelsea's young player system. Brown was tipped as a future England star by then-manager Jose Mourinho before being loaned to Vitesse in 2015.
He was then sent on loan to Rotherham United last season before that spell was terminated by Chelsea and in January, Brown was sent to Championship high-fliers Huddersfield instead. 12 appearances in the Tykes Play-off campaign followed with 3 goals to his name.
In truth, both names are exactly the type of player that Sunderland should be targeting for the new season so the position of manager needs filling quickly.