Sunderland are expected to back Sam Allardyce with funds during the summer transfer window.
With the summer transfer window edging closer, we take a look at how Sunderland’s team could look next season.
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Vito Mannone did a great job towards the end of last season, but Sam Allardyce has been thinking about promoting Jordan Pickford to Sunderland’s first-team and the youngster could be involved next term.
Left-back: Patrick Van Aanholt
Van Aanholt has just signed a new contract with Sunderland and looks set to play a key role.
Centre-back: Lamine Kone
Kone signed in January and was a revelation. He looks very reliable.
Centre-back: James Tomkins
Allardyce has been chasing the West Ham defender for some time, and a deal looks possible this summer.
Right-back: DeAndre Yedlin
Yedlin was on loan at Sunderland from Tottenham last season and did an impressive job. Allardyce could try and make the move permanent this summer.
Defensive-midfield: Jan Kirchhoff
The former Bayern Munich man looks to be one of the most talented players at Sunderland.
Central-midfield: Yann M’Vila
M’Vila was in fine form for Sunderland last season while on a loan spell from Rubin Kazan. It would be a surprise if he does not join on a more long-term deal.
Central-midfield: Lee Cattermole
Cattermole was in impressive form in a box-to-box role towards the back end of last season and could well keep his place.
Left-wing: Fabio Borini / Andre Ayew
Borini prefers to play further forward, but his best chance of breaking into Sunderland’s team appears to be on a wing.
The Black Cats are also interested in Ayew, and the Swansea City forward looks likely to make a move.
Right-wing: Wahbi Khazri
Another of Sunderland’s key January signings, Khazri will be the Black Cats’ main creative influence next term.
Striker: Jermain Defoe / Diafra Sakho
Defoe was brilliant for Sunderland last season, and at 33 he is showing no signs of age.
West Ham United striker Sakho could provide good competition for the England international, though, and the pair could even be used in tandem if Allardyce opts to go with two up-front.