Dick Advocaat has told the Chronicle that Sunderland need to emulate Southampton and Swansea City in the upcoming transfer window.
Southampton and Swansea have both put together strong seasons based around sensible transfer activity.
The Premier League duo both have a happy knack of finding quality and Advocaat feels Sunderland need to learn from their example.
“Look at Swansea and Southampton, for the last five years they’ve been an example of how you can do it with good football,” he said.
“Manchester United and company are spending £300m, which unfortunately we can’t.
“But you can still do something if you have 40,000 people coming here every 14 days and I think Mr Short knows that.”
Sunderland have struggled to bring in the quality required to move them forward in recent times, with their squad lacking class in a number of areas.
It has led to the Black Cats fighting against relegation for the past two seasons, but they will be hoping this summer is much more productive.
Whether Advocaat will be in charge for it remains to be seen, though. The Dutch manager may have kept the team safe, but his future is unknown.
The 67-year-old has been offered a new deal at the Stadium of Light, but it is not known whether he will accept it - with his stay originally intended to be a short-term one.