Sunderland have undergone a major change in the last month, with a fresh manager appointed and a new owner set to take the reins at the Stadium of Light.
Lee Johnson took over in the hot-seat from Phil Parkinson, who was given his marching orders with the Black Cats sitting outside the play off spots.
Stewart Donald moved quickly to secure Johnson, but soon afterwards he’d agreed a deal in principle to sell the club to 23-year-old billionaire Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.
The Wearsiders look likely to boost their squad this month – already announcing Forest Green Rovers midfielder Carl Winchester – although it remains to be seen how much transfer kitty the new owner will be handing to Johnson once the deal is EFL-approved.
Let’s look at the latest transfer news on incomings and outgoings at the Stadium of Light this month.
The Barnsley winger was rumoured to be of interest in December for the upcoming window to bolster Sunderland’s wide options.
However it appears that league rivals Ipswich may end up winning the race for the 21-year-old on a loan deal until the end of the season.
In truth, Sunderland aren’t that desperate for a wide player, with Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady, Chris Maguire and Jack Diamond all as options, so Thomas won’t be a massive loss in terms of a transfer.
The 23-year-old is in flying form for Hibernian – managed by former Sunderland boss Jack Ross – in the Scottish Premiership, where Nisbet has netted 10 goals in 20 league games since a summer switch from Dunfermline.
That scoring record has alerted English clubs, and the Northern Echo confirmed last week that the Black Cats have made contact with Hibs in regards to a potential transfer.
Understandably Hibernian and Ross aren’t keen to lose their talisman, however every player has his price and when Dreyfus’ takeover is confirmed, Sunderland may have the finances required to really test Hibs’ resolve.
Quiz: Did these 20 things happen to Sunderland in 2020?
Another target playing north of the border, St Johnstone left back Tanser is no stranger to performing in England after coming through Rochdale’s academy and also playing for Port Vale.
The 26-year-old has improved massively in Scotland and has since attracted January attention from Sunderland and Championship side Barnsley – both of whom could do with a new left wing back.
Tanser himself says he hasn’t heard of any interest but there’s been no denial of the link from the the Sunderland end or the St Johnstone side of things either – this one might be a goer.
Sanderson has had to bide his time for action after signing on loan from Wolves in October, with Phil Parkinson reluctant to use him despite regularly featuring for Cardiff in the Championship last season.
The 21-year-old’s parent club are reportedly frustrated with his lack of game-time amid reports that the Premier League club have a break-clause in his loan deal, but three league starts in a row at centre-back for Sanderson suggests he is fully in Johnson’s plans for the rest of the season.
And Sanderson himself has no intentions of leaving the Stadium of Light as he battles for his place.
Johnson confirmed that he would be willing to let highly-rated young midfielder Neil out on loan for the rest of the season, which is the next step in his development to getting into the first-team in the near future.
Football Insider have reported that League Two outfits Carlisle United and Forest Green Rovers are eyeing up the 19-year-old for the rest of the season, with the former arguably a better fit for Neil considering the location, with the Cumbrians being only 90 minutes away from his home city.