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Wear going to splash out in January sales: Poyet; Cats boss identifies transfer-window targets to add to depleted squad.

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer twitter: @JHUNTERCHRON

GUS Poyet insists he knows the positions Sunderland need to strengthen in the January transfer window.

The Black Cats boss held a meeting with sporting director Lee Congerton last week to discuss the club's transfer plans and finalise a list of targets.

Nine new players joined the Wearsiders over the summer - with Anthony Reveillere's arrival last month making him the 10th addition - but a similar number departed and Poyet admitted his squad is short of numbers.

The Uruguayan tried and failed to land another centre-back in August, while he was also unable to sign a replacement for last season's loanee Fabio Borini in the wide left slot.

Players to fill those positions are on Poyet's New Year's wishlist.

With left-back Patrick van Aanholt picking up an injury which will sideline him until February, specialist cover for that position is also likely to be on the agenda.

Yet, whatever his priorities at present, Poyet says there could be changes if injuries over the next six weeks leave the Black Cats short in other areas.

He said: "Yes, I know which positions we want.

"We had a good idea, but it has become clearer over the last few weeks.

"It does depend, though. You have to be ready and manage the situation if it changes."

Sunderland have been linked with Senegal international midfielder Stephane Badji this week, Premier League rivals Crystal Palace also rumoured to be interested.

Sunderland have been scouting in Scandinavia since the summer, but at present the links with Badji - who plays for Norwegian side Brann - are understood to be nothing more than speculation. A more likely target for the Wearsiders could be Portuguese winger Bruma, who is expected to leave Turkish club Galatasaray in January.

Sunderland had a loan bid for the 20-year-old rejected last January, but reports in the Turkish media suggest they could make a fresh attempt to bring him to England.

Bruma would be a candidate to fill the so-called 'Borini role' for Sunderland.

Another option would be to try and revive their summer bid to bring Borini himself back to Wearside from Liverpool, although the Black Cats might not be keen to chase a player who decided against joining only a few months ago.

Connor Wickham, Adam Johnson and Will Buckley have all spent time playing on the left this season, with Wickham - whose preferred role is as a central striker - spending the most time in that position.

Ideally, Poyet wants a specialist - although he admits it may not be his main priority in January.

He added: "I think it will depend on the goals we score between now and then.

"If you had asked me the other week if bringing in a specialist was my priority I would have said 'yes, 100%'.

"Players we are looking at are probably the style of player who are strikers who can play wide.

"That does not mean Connor is not doing well. He has been doing unbelievable for us and doing something we were not expecting.

"He linked very well with Steven Fletcher in pre-season and they have been giving us presence.

"They were outstanding against Stoke. If they score 10 each between now and January, maybe we will not buy anyone."

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Sunderland have been scouting Stephane Badji of Senegal, and left, Gus Poyet
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 19, 2014
Words:557
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