Martin Bain in talks with clubs as Sunderland step up transfer activity

Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter
Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter

Simon Grayson says he and chief executive Martin Bain are working hard to improve the squad further and move the club in the right direction.

The pair quickly struck up a strong relationship, with Bain currently leading the work around transfers with Grayson focusing on Sunderland’s intense start to the Championship campaign.

“I have a good relationship with Martin,” said Grayson, ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

“We clicked very quickly and he understands what I am trying to do from the football point of view.

“I understand the parameters I am working in from the financial point of view. We are working very hard together to make this club move in the right direction again.”

He added: “We are talking to clubs and to try and make things happen.

“That is really down to Martin, I am concentrating on the team and getting results.

“We would like to sign a few players but it is not always that easy given there is always a lot of competition for players and other clubs are reluctant to let one or two players leave.”

Grayson wants to bring in number of players, with centre-backs and striker a key priority.

Grayson is keen to tie up a loan deal for Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack, while there is genuine interest in Grant Leadbitter though Middlesbrough are reluctant to let their skipper leave.

Midfielder Yassine Ayoub, currently at FC Utrecht and highly-rated Lincoln City centre-back Sean Raggett have also been linked.

Grayson said: “You need good depth and at this moment in time we are probably not at the level I would like to be with the strength in depth.

“Saying that we have Bryan Oviedo, Jack Rodwell, Donald Love and Papy Djilobodji who weren’t even in the 18 at Norwich.

“When you get Duncan and Paddy back, then that gives you two new bodies as well.

“Somewhere down the line though I’m sure we will suffer injuries and suspensions and that is where your strength and depth will come in.”

When pressed on how many signings he’d like to make, Grayson said: “As many as I can!

“I know I have to be realistic, while the window is still open anything can happen with us and with players up and down the country.

“We are working with what we have today, what happens after that, who knows.”