Steve Bruce has had a tentative inquiry for England midfielder Stewart Downing rebuffed by Aston Villa, but is preparing to welcome another left winger to the Stadium of Light as David Miliband is set to join the club in a £50,000-a-year non-executive role following talks with chairman Niall Quinn.
The former Foreign Secretary and current MP for South Shields was approached by Quinn to work alongside the chairman, despite being an Arsenal fan. Bruce said of Miliband's arrival: "I think he will be welcomed by everybody. It lifts the brand and what we are trying to achieve, and it might give a little more street cred to what we are trying to do."
The chance of seeing another new face at the club has gone due to Sebastian Larsson's wage demands while progress on loan moves for Sulley Muntari and Stéphane Sessègnon has slowed.
It leaves Bruce to contemplate Sunday's derby and the opportunity to make amends for the 5-1 defeat at Newcastle in October. "I do believe in management, the secret is not to beat yourself up too much and try not to get too carried away when things are going OK," he said. "But the 24, 48 hours after the event were the most difficult, probably, I have had to face.
"The one thing you want from your staff and the team is to respond, and I don't think anybody could argue with the response we have had since."