Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has admitted that he had mixed feelings about allowing defender Danny Collins to join Stoke City on transfer deadline day.
The 29-year-old was sold for an initial fee of £2.75million, with Bruce having expected to complete the signing of a ready-made replacement, thought to be Wigan's Maynor Figueroa.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "I can understand why people were surprised about Danny moving on, because he was a popular player here, the fans liked him for his willingness to put his foot in for the cause.
"I also know he offers genuine cover at left-back, which is an area highlighted because of the injury to George McCartney.
"But, as it happens, I thought we were getting a left-back in on deadline day - the deal was practically done, but at the very last minute it didn't come off.
"Then I had to consider the fact Stoke were still interested in Danny.
"I had allowed him to speak to them, he was down there in talks and I thought the offer was too good to turn down for a player approaching 30."