Sunderland’s decisions on contracts and transfer targets will be guided by how the season finishes and what division they’re playing in next term, according to Phil Smith from the Sunderland Echo.
The Black Cats are seventh in League One as things stand and will be hoping they get the chance to continue their promotion push on the field in the 2019/20 campaign.
That is looking increasingly unlikely as The Athletic has reported that the EFL is planning to curtail the League One and League Two seasons this week.
It is understood that clubs will be asked to vote on how the final standings are decided with a weighted points-per-game system the favourite.
That will likely mean that the Black Cats will be facing a third consecutive season in the third tier of English football.
In a Q&A for the Sunderland Echo, Smith revealed it would also have a significant impact on the North East club’s transfer plans and decisions on contracts.
He said: “I don’t think any concrete list of targets can be established until Sunderland know what division they will be playing in next season.
“On top of that, budgets are surely going to be defined to some extent by whether next season begins in front of fans or not.”
Smith added: “Decisions on contracts will be guided by how the season finishes and what Sunderland might be able to offer going forward.”
According to Transfermarkt, the Black Cats have 11 players whose contracts expire at the end of the season, as well as three loan players whose deals run out at the end of the month.
Can you remember which Sunderland manager signed each of these 15 players? Have a go now!
It looks set to be an unusual summer and transfer window due to the delay to the season and the other issues caused by the current global circumstances.
Whether they’re in League One or the Championship, you’d imagine that the Black Cats will look to be shrewd in the transfer market to make some improvements to Phil Parkinson’s squad.
The squad turnover this summer could be significant given the number of players that are out of contract, though you’d imagine a number of those will be offered new deals.