As the time quickly passes us by in the January transfer window, Chris Coleman is confident that he’ll add to his squad, despite having an apparently non-existent transfer budget.
Speaking today in his media conference ahead of the Cardiff game this weekend, Coleman confirmed that things are moving along as expected, and wouldn’t be drawn upon any names - in particular he was asked about Burnley striker Jonathan Walters but, rather modestly, he didn’t want to talk about players that belong to other clubs.
When asked if there are players interested in coming to the club in the current transfer window, Coleman was fairly honest in his assessment:
I’m happy with the targets we’ve got, the connections we’ve made and the possibilities that they could come here. If it happens I’ll be very happy in the choices that we’ve made - as of yet, only one of them has come to fruition, so we’ll have to wait.
It was never going to be an easy task for Coleman, but with an abundance of first-team injuries, the importance of bringing in fresh faces is growing by the day. Despite the loan signing of Chelsea youngster Jake Clarke-Salter earlier this week, the current Sunderland squad is extremely bare, with fixtures coming thick and fast.
It’s no secret that Coleman has had his issues with some of the current squad members attitude and approach to the depleting situation surrounding the club. If there’s one thing that Coleman expects, it’s hard work - which some players have been questioned on.
Whilst Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone have returned back to training this week, it’s expected that both players will leave before the current transfer window closes - and, as reported earlier today on the site, Coleman confirmed that Gabon international Ndong has asked to leave the club.
It’s common knowledge that Didier would like to leave. He sees his future elsewhere, which is... it’s how it is. We’ve got to do what’s best for us at the end of the day, and that type of deal won’t do us any good. I understand Didier’s situation - he’s trained this week, and trained quite hard and well, but for Sunderland that type of deal at the moment is not possible.
That said, Coleman has been firm on his stance - Sunderland AFC won’t be taken as mugs when it comes to selling our prized assets, and any deal must absolutely suit us or the player will not leave the club.
What do we get out of (a player leaving on loan)? If it’s a loan deal and he has to play 75% of games for a fee to be involved, he will probably only play 73%. They must think we have fallen off the back of a lorry. There will be no loan deals - unless it absolutely suited Sunderland Football Club financially.
If deals that ultimately favour Sunderland can’t be found then the pair will remain as our players beyond the January transfer window - and, regardless of how they feel about this club or where they believe their futures lie, they’ll be expected to earn their weekly wage and contribute on the pitch.
It may well be a case that both men are forced to swallow their pride and prove their worth should a move fail to materialise - though, you’d hope that a move to suit all parties can be eventually achieved, and the pair will leave Sunderland before the month ends.
Whilst under normal circumstances we’d be excited about the return of two potentially useful players to the squad, it does seem convenient that the announcement of their return to the training pitch this past week has been so vocal. Is it nothing more than a move to alert potential suitors to the news that they’re fit and available?
@LamineKone_23 and Didier Ndong are back in training!— Sunderland AFC ⚪ (@SunderlandAFC) January 10, 2018
Chris Coleman has provided the latest news from the injury room as Kone and Ndong step up their recovery from spells on the sidelines. https://t.co/mzjq0bwEKc
As shown in the news that James Vaughan is set to leave the club on a permanent basis to join Wigan, perhaps as soon as today, the club will allow anyone that has expressed a desire to move on to go, provided the finances of it suits Sunderland.
One thing is for sure - irrespective of whether or not a player wants to leave, Sunderland won’t be taken as mugs in all of this and they’ll only be allowed to go if the money and deal is right for us.