Bruce set to trim his squad
SUNDERLAND'S players will reconvene for the opening day of their pre-season programme this morning, with Steve Bruce determined to trim the size of his squad. Two of the Black Cats' three summer signings will be present at the Academy of Light, with Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Egyptian defender Ahmed al- Muhammadi set to meet their new team-mates for the first time. Paraguay internationals Cristian Riveros and Paulo Da Silva have been given another three weeks off however, following their World Cup exploits in South Africa. Marcos Angeleri will be another notable absentee, as the Argentinian defender is still waiting for his Italian passport to arrive, a development that will trigger the completion of his £1.5m move from Estudiantes. While Angeleri is not yet able to train in the North- East, a host of fringe players will be back on Wearside this morning despite Bruce having already decided they do not figure in his plans for next season. The likes of David Healy, Daryl Murphy, Nyron Nosworthy and Teemu Tainio will all kick off pre-season with the Black Cats despite spending the majority of last season away on loan. George McCartney, Phil Bardsley and Marton Fulop will also be present even though they are unlikely to feature in the 25-man squad Bruce must submit to the Premier League ahead of the start of the new season. Unsurprisingly, the Sunderland boss is keen to move the septet on, but finding a club willing to pay for their services and match the wages they are receiving will be difficult. Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell is keen to sign Nosworthy on a permanent basis but the Blades are reluctant to pay the £500,000 fee Sunderland are demanding. Similarly, Celtic, Ipswich and Reading have all expressed an interest in Murphy, but are unable to offer the Republic of Ireland international a similar wage to the one he is currently earning.
Related Sunderland News