STEVE BRUCE will follow-up the £6.5m capture of defender Michael Turner by trying to offload five players before today's 5pm transfer deadline including Finland international Teemu Tainio.
In what is expected to be a frantic day on Wearside, Bruce is also considering offering right back Lucas Neill a contract and he could attempt to resurrect a deal to bring Maynor Figueroa from Wigan Athletic. However, the Latics are very reluctant to release the 26-year-old left back after sanctioning Lee Cattermole's move to Wearside last month and any deal appears very unlikely.
Tainio's potential switch to Birmingham City is another surprise after club stalwarts Danny Collins, Grant Leadbitter and Nyron Nosworthy were all given permission to begin talks on moves away from the Stadium of Light. The Finn has struggled with a series of injuries since joining from Tottenham Hotspur last summer and Bruce has decided to cut his losses after signing central midfield pair Cattermole and Lorik Cana.
Turner, a right-sided centre-half, joined Hull from Brentford for £350,000 two years ago and last night became Bruce's seventh signing of the summer for an undisclosed fee believed to be worth an initial £6.5m rising to £8m.
Tigers boss Phil Brown, who signed Paul McShane on Sunday, had earlier declared his desire to retain 25-year-old Turner but Hull were unable to refuse an offer that the manager labeled as "a ridiculous valuation".
After watching his side out-muscled by Stoke City last Saturday, Bruce moved swiftly to recruit the 6ft 4in, London-born defender who's been tipped to break into the England squad.
Sunderland are thought to have offered Nyron Nosworthy as part of the deal but Hull insisted on a cash-only agreement. Brown had earlier commented: "I would not want rejects from other clubs. No disrespect to them, but we could be talking about players who have not been monitored by me."
Nosworthy is now poised to sign for Portsmouth for £2m.
Turner joins defenders John Mensah and Paulo Da Silva at the Stadium of Light as Bruce attempts to build a back line capable of matching the Premier League's most physical outfits.
Hull were interested in taking striker Fraizer Campbell but Bruce regards the England U21, who only moved to Wearside in July, as a key member of his squad. Brown also enquired about George McCartney's availability but Sunderland's lack of left-sided defenders scuppered any deal. The signing of Turner takes Bruce's summer spending to over £35m but the club's attempts to balance the books by selling a host of fringe players has hit the buffers.
The legacy of Roy Keane's tenure in charge at Sunderland club left the Black Cats with a host of players earning the kind of handsome pay packets that few teams are willing to match.
Danny Collins £3.5m move to Stoke City is one deal expected to go ahead despite the Wales international admitting privately that he would rather stay and fight for his place in Bruces side. Wolverhampton Wanderers cooled their interest in the defender after being put off by his wage requests.
Potters boss Tony Pulis has enquired about £2m-rated right back Phil Bardsley
who would have become the seventh former Black Cat at the Britannia Stadium if a deal could have been agreed. West Ham United are also monitoring the situation.
Keane's bid to take Grant Leadbitter and Carlos Edwards to Ipswich Town for a fee of £2.8m that could rise to £4m, is in the balance. Both players will return to Sunderland unless an eleventh hour deal can be thrashed out today to agree personal terms.
It is a similar story for striker David Healy whose proposed transfer to Coventry City appears to have collapsed after the Sky Blues baulked at the Northern Ireland international's terms.
But Bruce is determined to clear the decks after becoming concerned that his squad is ill-equipped to guide the club into the top half of the Premier League.
Forwards Daryl Murphy and Roy O'Donovan have been told they do not figure in the manager's plans and both will be allowed to leave on loan if permanent deals cannot be agreed. Middlesbrough are considering a move for Murphy while Southampton and Blackpool could move for O'Donovan.
Bruce has no plans to recruit a replacement striker despite reports linking him with a £3m move for Everton youngster James Vaughan.