Self-proclaimed football recruitment specialist Rob Mackenzie is working for Sunderland as a recruitment operations consultant, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He describes his role, which began in March, as a "3 month period of consultancy focussing specifically on evaluating scouting processes & providing recommendations leading into the summer transfer window".
So what recommendations could Mackenzie - recently employed by Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County - make to Sunderland?
Signed by Leicester under Mackenzie's watch, the former Manchester United youngster was a Foxes regular until injury struck ahead of their title-winning 2015-16 campaign. James, who spent the second half of this season on loan to Barnsley, perhaps faces a battle to break into Craig Shakespeare's plans at the King Power Stadium and the 25-year-old - promoted from the Championship in 2014 - could be a bargain for someone, with his contract up at the end of next term.
A reported target for Sunderland already, Lawrence recently completed a successful loan spell at Ipswich Town, for whom he scored nine goals and created 11 in 34 appearances. He is said to have his heart set on Premier League football next season, although he is unlikely to get that at Leicester, where he has 13 months to run on the contract he signed during Mackenzie's time at the club. Nevertheless, a chance to get there with Sunderland - albeit at least a year later - could still appeal to the Welshman.
Another who arrived at Leicester while Mackenzie was employed by the Foxes, having previously been on Middlesbrough's books. Most recently of Northampton Town, where he is set to leave at the end of his contract, the Sunderland-born 'keeper is already being sought by a trio of Championship sides according to The Sun. And with one local shot-stopper looking to be on his way out of the Stadium of Light, Smith would be an ideal choice to fill the Mackems' void.
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