Bruce reveals transfer timeline
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is eager to have his first summer targets on board in time for the club's pre-season programme. The former Wigan manager is at his desk at the Stadium of Light after a family holiday with preparations beginning in earnest for the new Premier League season. Bruce takes his new squad to Darlington for their opening friendly on 16th July before jetting off to Holland for the Amsterdam tournament between the 24th and 26th. And the Black Cats boss wants to have made initial moves in the transfer market by then to give any new signings time to gel. Bruce told the club's official website: "I would hope to have some new faces in by the time of the opening friendly, or at least by the time we go to the Amsterdam Tournament. "I'm on the phone all of the time and am in constant touch with [chairman] Niall [Quinn] and [chief executive] Steve Walton. "Hopefully we will have some new faces around at the start, and that would be terrific." The list of players to be linked with the Black Cats grew over the weekend with the Wearsiders expected to be heavily involved in the market. New owner Ellis Short is understood to have provided Bruce with funds of up to £50million in a bid to avoid the relegation battles of the past two seasons. Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch and former Newcastle frontman Lomana LuaLua are the latest names to be thrown, with the likes of Richard Dunne, Sylvain Distin, Titus Bramble, Lee Cattermole and Darren Bent already firmly linked with the club. With Sunderland having decided not to take up the option of signing French striker Djibril Cisse on a permanent deal, there is little doubt that area of the team will be a priority, and central defence will provide another focus.
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