Sunderland will definitely not consider a move for Newcastle’s Jack Colback or former Birmingham winger David Cotterill despite recent speculation.
And it’s unlikely Chris Coleman will be able to sign a single player on a permanent deal in the January transfer window as the Black Cats boss is forced to consider loans and freebies to restructure his squad in a bid to beat the drop
That’s the bleak prospect as injury-ravaged Sunderland prepare to take on local rivals Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and prepare for the ongoing battle to avoid relegation to League One which recommences in seven days time.
Social media has flared again in recent days with suggestions former Sunderland midfielder Colback will become one of Chris Coleman’s first signings but the 28-year-old has zero chance of making a return to the Stadium of Light.
Colback has been told he can leave Newcastle but any ‘homecoming’ to Sunderland would have been greeted with hostility from fans on Wearside. The Killingworth native burnt any bridges in the north east long ago and his name hasn't even been mentioned in the Black Cats' January planning.
And a short-term deal for free agent David Cotterill has not even been considered as the Sunderland boss reconciles himself to a 'good' January consisting solely of couple of youngsters arriving on loan with an experienced head or two to follow later in the window.
Cotterill seemed an obvious choice for Coleman with the pair having worked together in the Welsh national set-up but the 30-year-old is thought to have offers from a variety of clubs which do not include Sunderland.
Coleman has acknowledged that he expects to receive next-to-nothing from any proceeds he can generate from selling the likes of Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone with survival in the Championship the limit of Sunderland’s ambition this season.
The exits of the few remaining saleable assets within the Black Cats squad will only free up space in the wage budget for freebies or loans, with any incoming cash already earmarked to be swallowed up by operating costs at the Stadium of Light.
With Sunderland needing to win something like one game in three between now and the rest of the season just to avoid dropping into League One, the mid-season transfer window will not usher in any fresh hope as supporters brace themselves for a slog between now and May.
The squad is already down to the bare bones and a derby clash in the FA Cup is roughly the last thing Coleman and his walking wounded need right now. That said, a few decent performances from the fringe players and Under-23s likely to be afforded minutes on the pitch this afternoon would hand Sunderland a boost as they prepare to call upon every last man standing.