Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McCarthy Facing a Difficult Summer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McCarthy Facing a Difficult Summer

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Mick McCarthy last night admitted his summer rebuilding programme may not be as straightforward as he would like, and warned that Sunderland do not have a divine right to snap up the best bargains on the market.

Having released eight players on Friday, the Black Cats boss is keen to start adding to his squad, and a manager who last summer recruited the likes of Gary Breen, Colin Healy and Jeff Whitley without paying a transfer fee will again focus largely on free agents as he plans for next season.

McCarthy is understood to have already agreed terms with Newcastle defender Steve Caldwell, while Portsmouth midfielder Carl Robinson has made encouraging noises about his desire to sign a permanent contract at the Stadium of Light.

It seems that there will be more out-of-contract players seeking employment than ever before this summer, but McCarthy knows that competition for their signatures will be fierce as he bids to revamp his squad for a renewed push for promotion.

"It's all very well saying that there are loads of players out there, but don't forget they will have choices as well," said the Sunderland manager, who must replace some of the club's most experienced players following the departures of Jason McAteer, Phil Babb and Joachim BjUrklund.

"We have seen that already this year in the cases of Andy Gray and Simon Francis at Bradford. I wanted them to come here but they chose Sheffield United and they were free to go there ( they had that choice.

"There will be a bigger pool of players to choose from, but it is not as if we have got a divine right to pick these players up. That just isn't the case."

Despite McCarthy's words of caution, hopes remain high in the Wearside boardroom that a move to the Stadium of Light will be an attractive proposition to players in need of a club this summer. …

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