Lower league clubs might be in the midst of a financial crisis but, according to the Chronicle, Sunderland are still confident that they can put together a promotion-seizing squad in the summer transfer window.
Now, it’s fair to say things are not looking great for the Black Cats right now.
Not only have Sunderland been consigned to a third season of League One football, they were also forced to bid farewell to a whole host of players since the 2019/20 campaign was curtailed.
Jon McLaughlin has left for Rangers while Duncan Watmore, Ethan Robson, Alim Ozturk, Jack Baldwin and Bailey Wright have departed too.
Tom Flanagan could yet sign a new deal but, as it stands, he too will depart on a free when his contract expires.
And with Sunderland hit hard in the pocket by a financial crisis of unprecedented proportions, the Wearside faithful must have wondered whether the likes of McLaughlin, Ozturk and co could be replaced on a reduced budget.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, it seems.
Within the walls of the Stadium of Light, Sunderland remain convinced that they can push on and secure a top two place next season with the biggest club in League One still boasting a budget that dwarves almost all of their third-tier rivals.
Interestingly, Phil Parkinson’s side took a number of talented youngsters on trial earlier in 2020 and many of those, including Nathan Harker, are now available for free.