With the transfer window having swung open, Sunderland are ready to act as they look to strengthen a squad pushing for promotion from League One.
A defender is the priority for Jack Ross, and he remains confident that the club will be able to confirm a signing this week.
The Black Cats have been linked with moves for Celtic defender Jack Hendry and Sheffield United's Ben Heneghan as they look to bolster their backline.
And after fresh conversations today, Ross feels a completed deal is not far off.
"I would like to do it as early as possible but my understanding is that it is all on track.
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“Like anything, it’s not always straightforward, things can always change at the last minute which is why I’m always [cautious] until it is all signed.
“But I had a conversation about it this morning and everything I’ve been told is that it will still happen this week.
“Hopefully it will be over next couple of days.”
In the short-term, however, Ross' focus will remain on the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Newcastle United.
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The Magpies' under-21 side visit the Stadium of Light tomorrow evening in an eagerly-anticipated Wear-Tyne derby.
And, in an interview with the EFL, chairman Stewart Donald has praised what is a 'fantastic' draw for the club.
"It's a fantastic draw for us," he admitted.
"It's a busy schedule for us, so I'm sure the manager is pulling his hair out a little bit, but it captures the imagination.
"That will help with the profile of the tournament because it will be the tie of the round, I would have thought."