Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has admitted that signing a new central defender is his priority in January and that he expects he will have to sign someone from abroad.
The Black Cats are struggling at the wrong end of the table, with the former West Ham manager brought to the Wearside club with the job of securing their Premier League status.
With hefty recent defeats not helping Sunderland’s chances of avoiding the drop, Allardyce has confessed that defensive reinforcements are in order for the North East club.
However, the experienced trainer has admitted that not many Premier League clubs will be willing to part company of any top players mid-season.
“I think it would be very difficult to secure a player from any club in the Premier League,” BBC Sport quote Allardyce as saying.
“I don’t think they’d want to let anybody go.
“We’ve got to get back to being a resilient defensive unit but the backline and the goalkeeper have to be the ones that ultimately secure those clean sheets, so a central defender is my first priority.
“For me, it looks like it might be from abroad, and then see where we go from there. Whether we can find one good enough is another matter.”
Allardyce has been critical of his side’s recent performances, which have seen Sunderland slump to four consecutive Premier League defeats.
The manager opted to change personnel for the clash against Manchester City, but a feeble first-half showing paved the way for a 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Sunderland host Liverpool on Wednesday and will hope to pick up much-needed points in their battle to avoid demotion to The Championship.