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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Club to announce new signing in '24 Hours'

      SUNDERLAND will confirm the signing of Chelsea youngster Jake Clarke-Salter in the next 24 hours, with Chris Coleman admitting this month’s transfer window will ‘make-or-break’ his club’s chances of avoiding relegation to League One.

Clarke-Salter, a 20-year-old centre-half, has agreed to join the Black Cats on loan for the remainder of the season and should be available to make his Sunderland debut in Saturday’s Championship game at Cardiff City.

A member of England’s World Cup-winning Under-20s squad last summer, Clarke-Salter was set to travel to Wearside on Friday, only for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to opt to keep him for an extra weekend in order to name him in his squad for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Norwich City.

Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute as Chelsea claimed a goalless draw at Carrow Road, but Sunderland officials are confident Conte will not decide to retain him again for the replay.

Instead, the defender is set to become Coleman’s first signing of a transfer window that will go a long way towards determining whether Sunderland are able to survive in the Championship.

“I have to emphasise that this will be a big window for us in terms of adding to what we’ve got,” said Coleman, in the wake of his side’s FA Cup third-round defeat to North-East rivals Middlesbrough. “It’ll be a very big window.

“We must (make signings), and if we don’t get what we want, it won’t be for the want of trying. The thing is though, we won’t be the only club trying.

“Some players we’re looking at, there’s a host of other clubs looking, too. Eventually, it won’t be a money thing – it’ll be a player thing. Do you go there, or do you go somewhere else to fight for something different? That will be out of our hands.

“We’re not financially strong, but on the flipside of the coin, players who come to us are going to get a lot of football. Players who are a bit younger, looking for experience, if they go to a club at the top of the league, they might only get 50 per cent (of their time in the team). They can come to us and get 70 or 80 per cent, and that experience is valuable.”

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