Boss lines up Short meeting
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is set to spend the weekend with the club's owner Ellis Short discussing his summer transfer plans.
O'Neill, who this week resumed work after a holiday, is planning to meet up with Short to outline the areas he is most desperate to strengthen in before the start of the new season. The Black Cats chairman is visiting the region ahead of Monday's announcement of a new shirt sponsor, and he will therefore use the time beforehand to map out a clear vision with his manager for when the transfer window reopens again on July 1. O'Neill will have some money available to bolster his team but his first priority since the end of last season has been to target top quality players who are falling out of contract and are available on free transfers. However, the Northern Irishman has called on the fans to remain patient as they look for deals to be done. He told the Chronicle: "We will all come back ready and refreshed for pre-season. "I'm looking forward to it and I'm hoping we can do something. I think the supporters have got a fair idea of what we need to try and build the team." Meanwhile, Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper has expired a desire to loan young Black Cats striker Ryan Noble again after his previous spell at Victoria Park last season where he scored twice in nine appearances. Noble will start pre-season with Sunderland after undergoing a hernia operation last month but Cooper is hoping O'Neill will let him out for the start of new campaign. He said: "I don't know what they plan to do, but I'd love to have him back. "He'll want to go back there in pre-season and see if he's in the picture, that's what he should do. He'll want to try that, I like that. I'd welcome him here. He was one of those who just settled in straight away."