Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce's Smart Swoop for Mensah

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce's Smart Swoop for Mensah

Article excerpt

STEVE Bruce hopes to maintain Sunderland's feel-good factor by unveiling his sixth signing of the summer before tonight's Premier League visit of Chelsea, writes STUART RAYNER.

The Black Cats boss says he has finished adding to his collection of strikers and midfielders, and will now concentrate on trying to add two defenders to his squad. Bruce is hopeful of signing versatile Lyon defender John Mensah on a season-long loan today, before stepping up his pursuit of one of his other targets.

Although the Ghanaian is unknown to most Sunderland supporters, the debuts produced by Darren Bent, Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana on Saturday will give them plenty of encouragement.

"It's fair to say we're close to agreeing a deal," Bruce said of the 26-year-old yesterday morning. "I'll hopefully know more in the next 24, 48 hours, we hope so. It's a loan deal until the end of the season.

"We have been a bit frustrated in the defensive area so that is one area we are looking at to give us a bit more strength.

"That is the one thing we are looking at. I am quite happy with the strike force and midfielders. I just need a bit more defensively because in terms of numbers, we are not quite there yet." Bruce's only defensive addition so far has been Paulo Da Silva. Like Mensah, the Paraguayan prefers to play in the centre of defence, but can also fill in at full-back. Da Silva is not yet ready to play Premier League football after a month waiting for a work permit. "Paulo has been away twiddling his thumbs and trying to do a bit (of fitness work) on his own," Bruce revealed. "Because he is our player, he could not really join in with his (previous) club, for insurance purposes.

"We will have to assess how fit he really is. My experience of other South American lads I have brought in, is they need a bit of time so it would be a bit unfair if I just threw Paulo into it even though he is highly experienced. …

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