Quinn pleads for time to secure top signings

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The Independent Football

The Sunderland chairman, Niall Quinn, has urged the club's fans to remain patient as he and the manager Roy Keane home in on their transfer targets.

The Black Cats have already been the subject of speculation over their summer spending in the wake of Keane's admission that he could match or even exceed last season's £44m recruitment drive. Rumours over the weekend suggested the club could break their transfer record with a £10m bid for the Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady, or by prising the £16.5m-rated Tottenham striker Darren Bent away from White Hart Lane. But Quinn is refusing to panic as supporters eagerly await the first breakthrough.

He said yesterday: "A lot of things are happening behind the scenes, but players are away and it is very hard to get these quality players. People are probably waiting and anxious that we make signings, but we have to do it properly and we have to get quality now.

"There is no point in signing players to keep people happy. Roy and I had a good chat the other night looking at the state of play, about the various inquiries we have made and what the chances are of achieving the kind of player that we need at the club. When I played, I never realised how hard it would be to get players who would really improve the team."

Keane wasted little time in identifying potential targets after guiding his side to Premier League safety last season and telling those members of his existing squad who are surplus to requirements they could leave. However, he is keeping their identities to himself and those who need to know, conscious that certain avenues will inevitably become dead ends.

It is understood there was an inquiry over Bent that did not result in any great encouragement, while any pursuit of the Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne could be scuppered by the arrival of Mark Hughes as Manchester City manager.

The West Ham striker Carlton Cole was once again linked with the Wearsiders yesterday, but Quinn said: "It is not my job to say who we will try to get. It's my job to try to get the money together and see if we can unlock players.

"Roy is keeping his cards close to his chest rather than us talking about things [publicly] and just disappointing people if they don't come off. We are happy to stay silent and people will have to trust us that we are doing the best things for the club."

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