Sunderland were interested in David Cornell before he joined Ipswich Town and could miss out on both Demetri Mitchell and Remi Matthews due to the new salary cap rules, according to The Chronicle.
Just two weeks ago, the Black Cats were making light work of what was supposed to be a nightmare transfer window, snapping up Bailey Wright and Aiden O’Brien before turning their attention to Scott Fraser and Luke Garbutt.
But then came a piece of legislation which, while designed to protect League One and Two clubs during a period of unprecedented financial uncertainty, has arguably only led to more confusion and controversy.
The Chronicle reports that Sunderland now have a mountain to climb as they look to reunite manager Phil Parkinson with his former Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews.
Matthews is also a target for Championship clubs, who are not restricted by that £2.5 million-a-year salary cap.
Former Manchester United youngster Demetri Mitchell had been training with the Sunderland squad but the free-agent too is likely to be out of Sunderland’s financial reach.
The lightning left-back could now join Matthews in the second-tier with Luton Town.
And, just to add to the frustration, the report adds that there was another free-agent target on Sunderland’s hit list as they look to replace departed shot-stopper Jon McLaughlin.
But, after inspiring Northampton Town to promotion from the fourth-tier, Cornell has put pen to paper with the Black Cats’ League One rivals Ipswich instead.
Though if there is one man who can take a positive or two out of an increasingly frustrating situation, it is Sunderland’s only senior goalkeeper – the seldom-seen Lee Burge.