Bruce awaits news on budget

The manager headed into talks with the Texan businessman and

chairman Niall Quinn in the wake of a board meeting held on Monday.

With football finances tight in general below the upper echelons of

the Premier League, Sunderland know they could face a summer of

tough negotiations to get the men they want, although Bruce is

convinced there will still be significant spending generally. Asked

if he believed there would be less money around, he said: “I

thought it was getting there until Manchester City came along a

couple of years ago, and it was Chelsea before that. “You are not

too sure. Certainly when I speak to other managers, there might be,

but history tells you that clubs find the money somehow, so it will

be interesting.” While critics point to the fact that Bruce has

been handed £55million with which to strengthen his squad,

sales of the likes of Darren Bent, Lorik Cana, Danny Collins and

Martyn Waghorn have raked in around £35million. But having

indicated he may be on the lookout for as many as eight or nine

players during the current transfer window – loan signings John

Mensah, Nedum Onuoha, Danny Welbeck and Sulley Muntari are back

with their parent clubs and only Ahmed Elmohamady has so far

completed a permanent move – the hunt is on. Strikers are a

priority, with Bruce in the market for three to join Asamoah Gyan

on Wearside following Bent’s departure, Welbeck’s return and

Fraizer Campbell’s injury problems. DJ Campbell is a player whose

situation is being monitored but in the short term Bruce will

attempt to make progress on a series of Bosman free transfer deals,

with Birmingham’s Sebastian Larsson understood to be one of those

in his sights. He said: “Every club will be looking at the Bosman

situation, of course, so we will be looking at that. “Usually in my

experience of the Bosman situation, they usually want to be fixed

up early, so there might be a bit of movement there. “But the

transfer merry-go-round is usually kick-started by the big ones.

The big ones swing into action and then that usually opens the door

for a few others to see what they are doing with their players.”