With just a few games remaining this season, Sunderland are still in the hunt for automatic promotion. But Jack Ross will already be casting his mind ahead to next season and who he could sign in the summer.
Here are three soon-to-be free agents that should be on Sunderland’s radar.
Charlton Athletic midfielder Joe Aribo is out of contract at the end of the season and the Londoners are desperate to keep their midfield star.
The 22-year-old is a left-footed central midfielder who brings energy, skill and an eye for goal to the table with box-to-box displays.
Arsenal are interested in the ex-Staines Town star (The Mirror) so Sunderland would need to win promotion to be in with a chance of signing him.
In January, Sunderland were interested in signing physical centre-forward Tom Eaves from Gillingham (as per journalist Pete O’Rourke).
But while that move failed to materialise, the 27-year-old’s tally of 20 goals for struggling Gillingham could convince Sunderland to rekindle their interest when he becomes a free agent this summer.
The ex-Bolton striker poses a unique threat with his height and aerial presence, meaning that he could be an upgrade on Charlie Wyke.
Ross should use his Scottish links to win the race for Ayr United striker Lawrence Shankland.
The prolific Scottish striker has netted 31 goals in 33 games for the second tier side, following on from his tally of 29 in 33 last season.
A host of clubs are queuing up for the 23-year-old, whose contract expires this summer, and he is worth a punt for Sunderland.