Cats rule out Jones-Babel swap talk
Bruce is adamant the Black Cats will not be offloading key men during the January transfer window, despite speculation to the contrary. He claims reports regarding the future of Jones, who is believed to be a target for a number of Premier League clubs, are wide of the mark. Liverpool are one of those said to be keen on the Trinidad & Tobago striker with Rafa Benitez keen to cover the loss of Fernando Torres to injury. A deal involving Dutch winger Babel, who is unhappy at a lack of first-team opportunities at Anfield, has been mooted - but Bruce has made it clear he has no interest in discussing such an agreement. "The one thing I am trying to do is build the squad and build the squad to improve," he said. "The last thing I want to be doing is trade or anything like that." While Babel may not be heading to the Stadium of Light, his time at Liverpool could still be coming to a close. He was left out of the Reds' matchday squad for Saturday's trip to Stoke and Benitez admits he needs to be convinced of the 23-year-old's commitment to the cause before bringing him back into the fold. "If Ryan trains hard and is ready to play he will be available for the next game (against Tottenham on Wednesday)," said the Spaniard. "If not, he won't be available. "I was talking to Ryan one week ago and I explained the situation very clearly to him. After the meeting everything was fine. "He was working and he was on the bench and he played against Reading. After that game I decided he would not be on the bench and that is it."