Jack Ross targets Scotland for signings but may need to wait on departures before spending big

John McGinn.
John McGinn.

Jack Ross will use his Scottish contacts to help rebuild Sunderland's squad - but may need to wait on departures before he can spend big.

Ross officially starts work on Wearside today but the rumour mill has been in full force since his appointment was confirmed at the end of last week.

John McGinn, the creative Hibernian midfielder. Kyle Magennis, a young talent whose career Ross kick-started at St Mirren, and Florian Kamberi, the Swiss striker who made an impressive impact at Hibernian in the second half of last season, have all been linked with Sunderland.

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There is little doubt that Ross will seek to utilise his contacts north of the border this summer as he faces up to the daunting task of building a team almost entirely from scratch.

Neale McDermott and Jimmy Sinclair, who were both part of the recruitment team last season, have left the club since the end of the season as the responsibility falls on the manager's shoulders for bringing players into the club.

With a need to make swift progress on incoming transfers, Ross' own contacts will be key in the short-term and it is only natural that he will look to the leagues that he knows well.

He will be helped, too, by the fact that the club has been scouting potential League One players towards the end of the latter campaign, with a view to them either making the jump to the second tier or playing their part in a promotion push should the worst happen.

Kamberi is certainly a well regarded player and while Hibernian are well ahead in the race to sign him after his loan spell from Grasshoppers, his future is not resolved and a club the size of Sunderland is attractive.

The key, in a theme that is likely to recur throughout the summer, is whether the Black Cats will be able to acquire expensive talent when there is need for such a significant number of signings.

Kamberi would likely cost close to £2million, with McGinn commanding an ever bigger fee.

Stewart Donald has said he expects Sunderland to have the biggest budget ever seen in the third tier but crucial will be bringing the wage bill under control.

The likes of Jack Rodwell, Lamine Kone, Bryan Oviedo, Papy Djilobodji and Wahbi Khazri will need to be moved on to help free up some finances for Ross' rebuild.