Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill remains keen to strengthen his squad this summer but will not sign players ‘for the sake of it’.

The Black Cats returned to training earlier this week with only one new face, that of former Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar, among their ranks.

That situation is unlikely to change markedly before they head for the Peace Cup in Korea next week, although O’Neill is confident of movement once they return.

He told The Journal: “When we come back from South Korea, I would expect the situation to change.

“We are obviously in the market to try to strengthen our team, of course. I think that’s pretty obvious – all football clubs will be trying to do that.

“But for us, it would be nice to add a couple of fresh faces – not just for the sake of it, but to improve the quality of the squad, which is what we are trying to do.”

The Black Cats’ main focus will be on attack, with Asamoah Gyan having completed a permanent move to United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain and Nicklas Bendtner back at Arsenal following his loan spell.

Wolves forward Steve Fletcher has been repeatedly linked with Sunderland, who have also been credited with interests in the likes of Junior Hoilett, Aiden McGeady and Steven Nzonzi, among others.

Owner and chairman Ellis Short has indicated that there will not be wholesale change, but that the club will be in the market for the handful of quality players they believe will help to establish them as regulars in the top 10 in the Premier League.


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