Manager Steve Bruce is ready to test the depth of Sunderland owner Ellis Short's pockets once again after being assured he has earned the owner's trust in the transfer market.
Chairman Niall Quinn has revealed that Bruce's transfer dealings to date have been met with approval by the man who has bankrolled them as he attempts to build for lasting success at the Stadium of Light. The manager and his scouting team are already starting to identify the men they believe can take the club forward, with a replacement for striker Darren Bent, who joined Aston Villa for £24million in January, the main priority.
Bruce is well aware of how fortunate he is to have the backing of both Short and Quinn but admitted with a smile that he would be looking for even more support when he does dip into the market once again, saying: "It's quite refreshing that I have an owner like that who puts his trust in you, who gives you the tools to manage and leaves you alone with it."
He added: "He was desperately upset by [the 2-0 home loss to] Liverpool, which I can understand.
"But that's one of the reasons I agreed to stay here because, from top to bottom, the club is run right and with an owner like I have, it is very, very good.
"I enjoy working with him and I will be going with my cap in hand very shortly to see how much more money he has got."
Bruce will hope a proportion of that cash will make its way to Old Trafford with loan signing Danny Welbeck heading in the opposite direction.
However, he knows just how highly United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rates the 20-year-old, whose senior England debut in midweek may have made Sunderland's task a whole lot more difficult.
He said: "The boys who come here from Manchester United always do well. There must be something in the air here that they enjoy.
"Danny has had a wonderful time here and has enjoyed playing. Now he has got the ultimate accolade for his performances for us and he has been called up for the England team, so it is going to be very, very difficult to try to get him here. Can we get him? I think it's very, very doubtful, if I am being honest."
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