Gus Poyet confident of keeping Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham

Gus Poyet says Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham will stay at Sunderland, while progress is awaited on Fabio Borini

Sunderland's Steven Fletcher
Sunderland's Steven Fletcher

Gus Poyet is confident strikers Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham will stay at Sunderland.

Promising Black Cats supporters new signings to come, the Uruguayan is also hopeful of imminent progress on his move for Fabio Borini.

However, fearing further offers for his players in the knowledge some can prove impossible to refuse and keen to bed down a settled squad over an extended period of time, Poyet has again called for future summer transfer windows to close before the beginning of the Premier League season.

While Sunderland await developments after Liverpool accepted a £14 million bid for Borini three weeks ago, Fletcher has been the subject of interest from Hull City and Wickham – for whom West Ham United had a £5 million offer rejected last week – from Crystal Palace.

However, asked if he is resigned to losing the pair, Poyet said: “They are staying, I want them to stay.

“They have been playing all of pre-season together because Jozy Altidore only played in the last game after the World Cup.

“They are getting used to playing together and they like to play together.

Action Images / Lee Smith Sunderland's Connor Wickham
Sunderland's Connor Wickham

“So I can see they play with us – they both had 90 minutes – and they have a place in the team and they stay. At the moment there are no offers.”

On Borini, Poyet added: “I think I should know something more in the next day or so, I hope.

“I know we need a few. Not one but a few. You pick a number. There are areas in the team where we are still missing players for sure. I can assure they will come. How many, it is impossible to say.”

That is the upside to Sunderland’s predicament, with time still to improve a squad in need of reinforcement.

Poyet remains wary of the timeframe of the transfer window, adding: “I am a believer we need to stop the transfer window before we start the season.

“For example, I can come here and buy (Saido) Berahino if he scores. Imagine that tomorrow he could be playing for us, which is not right.

“I’m sorry, but it is not right.

“Sometimes you can nick a player off a team which will be competing with you. I don’t like it.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images Gus Poyet, head coach of Sunderland AFC
Gus Poyet, head coach of Sunderland AFC

“That is the way it is and we are all the same, so that is good.

“Yet in the next two weeks, as soon as you receive a call from the chief executive (Margaret Byrne) you go ‘I’m not answering it. I don’t want any offers’.

“The situation is when someone offers money for a player you cannot stop that. I know it sounds typical but there are offers no one in the world can refuse.

“I always give the same example. When (Cristiano) Ronaldo left Manchester United, I thought ‘no, it doesn’t matter how much money’. Yet it was the law and they said ‘Oh yes, he is going’. “The same for (Gareth) Bale and every single one.

“It is tough because you need to bring in other players and then if he doesn’t go you have other players who want to leave. Then if you don’t bring in players and he goes you have problems. You can’t win.

“Perfection for me would be to have a core of between 15 and 20 players whoare there for two to three years, so you are working with them and they can come and give you something special.

“Then you don’t need to start from zero every time because there is a way of playing, an understanding.”


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