Sunderland have made some progress in the transfer market this summer and have made some positive additions to the squad but there remains plenty of work left for them to do.
The Black Cats have managed to bring in the likes of Alex Pritchard, Corry Evans, Callum Doyle and Jacob Carney to strengthen the squad and they should all prove to be solid additions that can make an impact for them in League One next season.
However, Ipswich Town have been the side making the real waves in the transfer market this summer in terms of sides in the third tier.
The Tractor Boys added another quality signing to their squad this week in the shape of Conor Chaplin and they are putting together an enviable collection of players to head into the new season with.
Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday have even started to make real progress in the transfer market over the last week or so. The Owls have already confirmed the arrivals of Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Lewis Wing on loan deals from Burnley and Middlesbrough and both of those players are coups for any side to have secured in League One. While Swansea City’s George Byers is also nearing a move to them.
Whilst others have been adding to their squad, Sunderland have also been trying to bolster their options in the full-back positions.
However, as of yet they have been unable to wrap up a deal for their key target in that area who is Nottingham Forest’s Jordan Gabriel.
It has been reported that the Black Cats have made an offer to Nottingham Forest worth around £450,000 for Gabriel which has been knocked by the Championship club.
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Sunderland’s interest in Gabriel is being matched by newly-promoted Blackpool, where the 22-year-old had spent a successful loan spell with them last season helping the Tangerines earn promotion back to the Championship via the play-offs.
They are also thought to have seen a £450,000 offer turned down by Forest for the full-back this summer.
The latest report from The Mirror has now confirmed that Nottingham Forest are willing to sanction a potential sale of Gabriel this summer.
The Reds have set their asking price for the defender at around £700,000 and that is the sort of level that Sunderland are going to have to reach if they want to beat Blackpool to his signature.
It has also been reported though that any buyer for Gabriel would have to wait until the Reds bring in a replacement for him first before they were able to complete for a move for the 22-year-old.
It will not be easy for Sunderland to fork out £700,000 on a single player this summer but you would feel that Gabriel is someone that it could be worth paying that level of transfer fee for.
The 22-year-old has already proven himself at League One level and he would offer a lot of extra quality both going forwards and defensively down his side of the field.
While Lee Johnson is the sort of manager that would be able to develop his game and raise his valuation in the market in the coming years, so it should be a sound investment.
Were the Black Cats to beat a Championship club in Blackpool to Gabriel’s signature this summer it would send out their own message to the likes of Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday that they themselves mean business heading into the new League One campaign.