DANNY GRAHAM is expected to still be a Sunderland player at the end of the transfer window after being given a second chance at the Stadium of Light.
But team-mate Charis Mavrias is on the verge of departing, with several sources in Greece indicating the winger is set to re-join former club Panathinaikos on loan until the end of the season.
Sunderland spent the summer trying to offload Graham after the £5million striker spent last season on loan at Hull and then Middlesbrough, but it took until November before he left to join Championship Wolves for a six-week loan.
However, since returning to Sunderland at the turn of the year, Graham has impressed Gus Poyet on the training field and come off the bench in the defeats to Liverpool and Spurs - his first appearances for the Black Cats in the Premier League since May 2013.
With Poyet vowing to accommodate new signing Jermain Defoe in a front two, the Sunderland head coach now needs four strikers at his disposal to pick from and he expects Graham to remain as one of them after Monday night’s transfer deadline.
Poyet told the Gazette: “I need four strikers. But also because of what Danny has been showing. He’s been showing a lot.
“Danny’s been much better than in the first six months (of the season).
“Maybe that’s been created by games, which I cannot give to every player. He’s looked sharp, holding the ball up in the way we want.
“We talk about the partner (to Defoe). If they don’t take their chances, Danny will have his very soon.
“I’m not afraid of that because he’s part of the squad and I see him every day. At the moment, he’s going nowhere.”
However, while Graham is likely to stay put, Mavrias is close to the exit door and could be unveiled by Panathinaikos over the weekend.
Sunderland have been looking to offload both Mavrias and midfielder Cabral this month, with neither of the two Roberto Di Fanti signings featuring for the first-team in more than a year.
Panathinaikos – the club who sold Mavrias to Sunderland for £2million 18 months ago – have been trying to re-sign the Greek international on loan all season, yet he is understood to have been wary of returning to his homeland.
But despite Mavrias being watched by scouts from Celtic, and three Championship clubs, that interest does not appear to have materialise into anything concrete.
Defoe is likely to be the one and only fresh face arriving at Sunderland this window though, barring any shocks in the transfer market over the next 48 hours.
Sunderland still have one domestic loan available to them, but with the club approaching the limits of the Financial Fair Play regulations, Poyet has reiterated that he is not expecting further arrivals.
“We are ready in case something happens, but I’m not expecting anything at the moment,” he said.
Poyet doesn’t necessarily expect other members of the Under-21 squad to depart on loan before the deadline though after striker Mikael Mandron joined League Two Shrewsbury Town until the end of the season, earlier this week.
But Football League clubs can still make emergency loan moves after the window shuts.