Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is planning audacious bids for both Steven Fletcher and Victor Moses to kick-start his re-shaping of the Mackems squad.
The Northern Irishman is keen to add some quality options to his side, especially in the attacking department, and he believes the injection of the pace of Moses and the guile of Fletcher could be a crucial part of the jigsaw as he looks to challenge the top six next season.
The pair would most likely command a combined transfer fee hovering around the £15 million mark, with Moses entering the final year of his current deal and Fletcher destined to depart the relegated Wolves.
O’Neill believes he can get the pair for closer to £10 million but has a battle on his hands with the likes of Liverpool and Spurs interested Moses and Fletcher attracting the interests of many top ten sides.
However, the 60-year old could be set for a frustrating summer after owner Ellis Short demanded he must first offload players before he can go in search of further additions.
The former Celtic boss is suffering from the massive over-spend of both Roy Keane and Steve Bruce meaning that the owner, who too has set his sights on European football, will only sanction the moves if personnel is shifted out of the Stadium of Light.
This would mean either a mass clear-out of squad players or allowing the likes of £10 million-rated key man Stephane Sessegnon to move to pastures new, hardly ideal for a club wanting to challenge in the upper reaches of the division.
O’Neill will be deeply concerned about Short’s reluctance to back his manager, after all it was disagreements with the budget that saw him depart Aston Villa in somewhat acrimonious circumstances, merely days before the season was about to commence.