David Moyes is interested in taking his former Manchester United players Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj to Sunderland.
Moyes, appearing before the media for the first time since replacing England boss Sam Allardyce as Black Cats manager, said he was moving quickly to bring reinforcements to the Stadium of Light and is eyeing some familiar faces.
Fellaini is a long-time favourite of Moyes, who brought him to Everton in 2008 and signed him again at the start of his ill-fated stint with United.
Although he may prove out of Sunderland’s reach, out-of-favour winger Januzaj also looks a realistic target.
“If any of those good players want to join me I’d be happy to have them,” said Moyes when quizzed about the pair.
“They’re excellent players. We’re interested but I’m sure there’s a load of other clubs that are as well.
“We’ve got offers in for people already. We’re interested in lots of good players.
“But you have to have a realistic view. There’ll be some players we can attract just now and some players we can’t.
“We’ll try to get the ones we can and the ones who want to come here and start on the new journey we’re on.”
Sunderland have yet to make a single addition to their first-team squad since narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League, with departures and injuries leaving them worryingly light on numbers with less than a fortnight to go before the start of the new season.
Moyes thinks that is partially down to the Football Association’s pursuit of Allardyce but vowed to bring with him the acumen he showed at Goodison Park.
His troubled ten-month spell at Old Trafford was scarcely mentioned as the Scot repeatedly drew comparisons with his successful stint on Merseyside.
“The FA had been talking to Sam for three or four weeks. I don’t know if you can really do much business in that period,” he said.
“You’ve got to give us a wee bit of grace on that. It does take a bit of time, but we’ll make it work. We’ll get signings in. I am confident because if you look at the transfers we had at Everton I think we had the best transfer record of any club anywhere in the Premier League.
“I hope to somehow replicate that in my time at Sunderland. Can I do that right away? No.
“It’s not as easy now as it was before. You’re not going to change it in one transfer window and if we are a bit late in the transfer window we’ll do the best we can.
“What we want to try to do is get the right players at the right price, like we did in the early days [at Everton]. Players who we think can go the journey with us.”
Moyes’ reputation took a big hit during his time as Sir Alex Ferguson’s hand-picked successor at Old Trafford, and a bold move to Spain with Real Sociedad also ended in disappointment. But he arrived at the Academy of Light armed with a list of his achievements – a bid, perhaps, to re-establish his credentials.
“I think I’ve got the fourth best winning record in the Premier League of all managers,” he said, referring to number of victories rather than ratio.
“That’s what I want to bring to Sunderland. I need players and I need teams that give me an opportunity to do that.
“I don’t want to lose that record, in fact I want to better it.
“The job is to win the games.
“At the start we may have to win a few ugly but as we go along I hope it will become more exciting.
“This has got to be a building job. Hopefully I’m here for four years and I’ll try to bring a level of stability to the club.
“This reminds me a little bit of Everton when I took over. Everton had been in the bottom six, I think, four out of the five years before I came in.
“In my last eight years I never finished outside the top eight.
“Hopefully we can do a bit of an Everton.”