Belfast Telegraph

Black Cats reassure fans over sales

Sunderland chief executive Steve Walton has insisted players will not have to be sold to balance the books.

The Black Cats have taken a more measured approach to transfer dealing under owner Ellis Short and manager Steve Bruce has had to justify all spending while at the same time managing the size of his squad. However, Walton is adamant that the club will not have to offload players to fund a summer recruitment drive.

He told supporters at a talk-in in South Shields on Monday night: "Players will absolutely not have to be sold to balance the books. Any sales will be dictated by what is right for the manager and balancing the dressing room."

He added: "However, of course we can't legislate for transfers which come from left field, such as those involving Darren Bent and Lorik Cana."

Bent stunned Sunderland by handing an a transfer request in January, and subsequently left the club in a £24million switch to Aston Villa.

Bruce has already drawn up plans to replace the England international during the close-season having decided not to spend in haste during the final days of the winter window.

Former skipper Cana left for Galatasaray last summer just a year after arriving on Wearside in a £5million switch from Marseille.

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