Sunderland buisness won’t be affected by Congerton exit

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce

Lee Congerton’s departure from Sunderland will NOT have a dramatic affect on the club’s ability to land fresh blood in the January transfer window, believes Sam Allardyce.

Sporting director Congerton has now effectively parted company with Sunderland - two months after handing in his notice at the same time as departed head coach Dick Advocaat.

You have to listen to every agent that’s got a player too. It’s a factor now.

Congerton helped in the appointment of Allardyce as Advocaat’s successor, while continuing to work at the Academy of Light after the arrival of the ex-West Ham boss, albeit he played no part in Sunderland’s planning for the January transfer window.

But with Congerton now gone, Allardyce is liaising with performance director Mark Taylor and chief scout Steve Houston over potential January buys.

Allardyce said: “I don’t think it (Congerton) really changes anything.

“Steve is in place and has the database inwtact.

“We just communicate on a regular basis on availability.

“It’s about what the scouts can hear on the grapevine. They have to keep their ear to the ground, hear what the whispers are saying and try to react on that.

“You have to listen to every agent that’s got a player too. It’s a factor now.

“They can unearth you a player that you thought might not have come to Sunderland.

“If you can do that, then you try to do it with the agent as quickly as you can.”

Allardyce envisages bringing in two fresh faces next month, with centre-half and centre-forward the priorities for the Sunderland manager.

The central defensive area is particularly pressing, with Younes Kaboul’s hamstring injury leaving Allardyce with only veteran Wes Brown and youngster Tom Beadling as back-up to the pair of John O’Shea and Sebastian Coates.

But Allardyce has admitted that Sunderland could sign more than their expected two recruits, if players leave the Stadium of Light.

Jordi Gomez and Vito Mannone - who have started just two games between them under Allardyce’s tenure - have both been linked with moves to Italy’s Serie A.

And with £13million summer signing Jeremain Lens expressing his unhappiness at his bit-part role with Sunderland earlier this week, the Dutch international could potential depart if the Black Cats receive a sufficiently tempting offer.