New Sunderland manager David Moyes is fully appreciative of the need to exercise realism in his search for new players, according to the BBC.
Moyes aims to strengthen Sunderland squad
Since his appointment on 23 July, Moyes has identified it as being necessary to strengthen his squad, which at the moment consists of just 16 senior members, with Sunderland still to make their first signing of the summer.
That is despite the club being linked with moves for a number of quality players, including Manchester United’s Belgian duo of Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Felliani, both of whom are well known to Moyes.
Whilst Manchester United manager, Moyes gave Januzaj his debut, ironically, against Sunderland in 2013, with the 21-year-old scoring twice as the Red Devils won 2-1.
In terms of Moyes’ relationship with Felliani, that began when the 53-year-old Scot signed the Belgian internationalist during his time managing Everton. That was from Standard Liege for a then club record fee of £15m in September 2008.
Subsequently after spending five years with Everton, Felliani became Moyes’ first signing in his role as Manchester United manager, with the 29-year-old transferring to Old Trafford for £27.5m.
As such Moyes is understood as being interested in signing Felliani for a third time but admits that is unlikely to happen, since he believes Sunderland are not currently in a sufficiently strong position to draw such players to the Stadium of Light.
“I’d love to have a player of Felliani’s level. Realistically however, that is not going to happen,” revealed Moyes, who signed a four-year-contract with Sunderland.
Realism prevails over potential transfer targets
Therefore he is being extremely pragmatic relative to the players he can realistically expect to bring to Sunderland. Nevertheless Moyes is likely to receive significant financial support from the club’s chairman Ellis Short in order to strengthen his squad, which he is actively endeavouring to do.
“We’ve got bids in for players just now. We’re trying to strengthen the squad and I’m hopeful some of them will come off. In this market at the moment, you just never know,” said Moyes. His predecessor Sam Allardyce criticised Sunderland’s player recruitment policy, with Moyes indicating that as being an area in which he can definitely help the club improve.
“It does take a bit of time but we’ll make it work. We’ll get signings in. I am confident because if you look at the transfers we had at Everton, I think we had the best transfer record of any club in the Premier League. I hope to somehow replicate that during my time at Sunderland,” the Daily Mail quoted Moyes as saying.
Progressing towards a first signing
Ultimately however his primary ambition is to secure a first signing as Sunderland manager, which he is currently working towards, with The Sunderland Echo reporting that, in addition to Felliani and Januzaj, Moyes is also pursuing Rubin Kazan midfielder Yann M’Vila and Tottenham full back DeAndre Yedlin who both spent last season on loan with the Black Cats.
Furthermore Moyes is believed as not only wishing to sign a full back of Yedlin’s quality, but also a new centre-half and striker.
As yet the identities of potential targets for those latter two positions remain are still to be revealed but what is clear, is that Moyes faces a race against time to strengthen his squad before Sunderland’s first game of the 2016-2017 season, which is against Manchester City on 13 August.