Sunderland continue player search
Sunderland are remaining patient as chairman Niall Quinn and manager Steve Bruce continued their search for reinforcements.
The Black Cats cleared the first hurdle they faced in the wake of Darren Bent's shock £24million departure for Aston Villa on Saturday when they won 2-1 at Blackpool with midfielder Kieran Richardson chipping in with a double.
Bruce has been scouring the January market since it became clear that Bent's future lay away from the Stadium of Light, and he has been casting his net far and wide. However, he has insisted he will not be spending heavily without doing his homework and is more likely to make his major move during the summer.
The manager admitted his interest in Stoke's Ricardo Fuller last week, but it is understood that has since cooled, and a series of domestic options - he already has his quota of home-based loan signings - are proving more expensive than the club is prepared to pay.
But he is also examining the possibility of bringing in a loan signing from abroad with a view to striking a longer-term deal at the end of the season.
Bruce has inquired about Inter Milan's Sulley Muntari on a similar basis but although reports have suggested his arrival on Wearside is imminent, it is understood that is not currently the case.
In addition, his pursuit of Paris St Germain midfielder Stephane Sessegnon appears to have reached something of an impasse.
But with a week of the transfer window remaining, the manager and his chairman are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to ensure Bent's loss does not derail their drive for European qualification.
The Black Cats are currently in sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table with 14 games remaining, and are only a point worse off than fifth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in hand.
In addition, Bruce hopes to have both Danny Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell back from knee injuries long before the end of the season to provide support to record signing Asamoah Gyan, who was his only fit frontman at the weekend.
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