Having dusted themselves down from what was a disappointing season in League One, Sunderland will be looking to finally secure a return to the Championship next year under the guidance of manager Lee Johnson.
However, in order to have the best chance of achieving this particular goal, it is imperative that the Black Cats get their recruitment spot on between now and August as a failure to do so could result in a slow start to the upcoming campaign.
As well as being tasked with trying to convince Luke O'Nien, Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke to stay at the Stadium of Light, Johnson has already been linked with moves for a plethora of players.
Whilst Sunderland face a battle to secure the services of Dion Sanderson on a permanent deal due to the fact that he is attracting interest from several Championship sides, they could be about to secure the services of one of Manchester United's prospects if recent reports are anything to go by.
According to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, Johnson is closing on a deal for goalkeeper Jacob Carney.
With the Red Devils opting to release the shot-stopper earlier this month, Sunderland will be able to sign him on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of June.
Whilst Carney has ultimately failed to make any inroads on United's starting XI during his time at Old Trafford, he did gain some much-needed experience at senior level last season by joining Portadown FC on a temporary basis.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
When you consider that Sunderland decided to part ways with Remi Matthews last month, they are currently short of options in the goalkeeping position.
Whereas Lee Burge's lack of consistency last season resulted in him averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.65, he is set to stay at the Stadium of Light for another year.
Although it would be somewhat of a shock if Carney is able to overtake Burge in the pecking order during the opening months of the upcoming campaign, there is no reason why he cannot thrive at this level in the not-too-distant future.
If Sunderland do opt to secure a deal for the shot-stopper, it will be intriguing to see whether Johnson is able to mould him into a player who is ready to feature on a regular basis in League One.
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