Lee Johnson says it’s proving ‘very difficult’ for Sunderland to conduct their transfer business this month.
The Black Cats are in the middle of a very difficult season in which they’ve struggled to keep up with the ongoing promotion race in League One.
As well as having the pending takeover hanging over their heads, the Wearsiders are getting to grips with the salary cap that’s in place in the third tier – something that Johnson says it making it tough for clubs to be able to conduct their business.
As quoted by the Northern Echo, Johnson said: “We’re very close to having at least one through the door, and ideally we get to two or three in this window.
“I’ve identified the areas where I think the squad could improve, but it’s a very difficult market in a place where we’re almost in purgatory because of the ownership situation.
“To be honest though, the salary-cap issue provides our blueprint anyway. Transfer fees don’t come into the salary cap, but we’re not in a position where we’re able to flex our muscles no matter what happens.
“It’s been difficult for me to get used to all the rules that are in place around the salary cap. There are so many tiny rules and regulations that it’s not as simple as one player comes in for x amount, one player goes out for x amount, and there you are, you’ve complied with the salary cap. There’s a lot to be considered.
“There may be ins and outs, but that’s the evolution of any squad in the transfer window. We’ll try to do the right thing by the players who could go out, either on a permanent or a loan. We’re always looking to improve all areas of the pitch, and everyone understands that.”
Quiz: Have any of these 22 players ever been in Sunderland’s academy?
There’s no doubt that the salary cap is having a big impact on clubs such as Sunderland.
The Wearsiders would usually be looking to use their stature to their advantage as they look to secure promotion but by design the newly-installed salary cap does make things difficult.
That’s why it’s crucial that Lee Johnson and co work tirelessly to ensure that they are operating in the best way possible to attract the best players to the North East.