Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce eyes January sales to bolster kitty

Liam BridcuttLiam Bridcutt
Liam Bridcutt
Sam Allardyce hopes to swell his transfer kitty by offloading the likes of Liam Bridcutt permanently in January, rather than resorting to loan exits.

Allardyce is eager to bring in fresh blood next month, with a new centre-half understood to be at the top of his wish-list, yet Sunderland also want to sell several players that they were unable to offload during the summer who remain a drain on the club’s wage bill.

Sunderland managed to temporarily move on one of them, midfielder Bridcutt, last month after he joined Leeds on loan and there is the option for the 26-year-old to remain at Elland Road until the end of the season.

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Leeds boss Steve Evans is desperate to keep Bridcutt, yet there has been speculation this week that Championship leaders and former club Brighton are keen to re-sign him permanently next month.

Allardyce would welcome such a move for both Bridcutt and ex-Brighton team-mate Will Buckley, particularly if that helps his quest to bring in new signings.

“It’d be a better option for him and us if we could sell him, no doubt about that,” said Allardyce.

“He’s not been happy with not having the chance in the first team and needed to get away and play some football.

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“I personally thought he’d have gone with Gus (Poyet) to Greece.

“Gus spoke about him so highly, but I don’t know if that was an option. I never got a call from Gus anyway.

“Certainly, his career needs to get back on track and, realistically, his career is not at Leeds and not here.

“If Brighton are interested in taking him back where he had such a good career, then it would be better for us all if that was the case.

“The same probably applies to Buckley.

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“The more finance I create, the more able and capable I am to recruit in January.

“But the balance of letting go and recruiting has to be equal.

“If you haven’t got one ready and you let one go, then you get into what you don’t want to get into, which is panic.”

Along with Bridcutt and Buckley, Roberto De Fanti signings Valentin Roberge and Charis Mavrias will be high on Sunderland’s list of possible departures.

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Roberge, who has only six months remaining on his contract, saw a loan exit fall through during the summer and has spent the season training and playing with the Under-21s.

Similarly, Mavrias’s possible return to Panathinaikos last summer came to nought after spending the second half of last season on loan with the Greek outfit.

However, Allardyce is taking a closer look at the winger, who has just resumed training with the first-team squad after working with the U21s throughout the campaign.