Sunderland will be hoping to push on under the guidance of manager Lee Johnson next month following a disappointing end to the previous campaign.
Defeat at the hands of Lincoln City in the League One play-offs in May dashed the club's hopes of securing a return to the second-tier.
In order to give his side the best opportunity of achieving automatic promotion in 2022, it is imperative that Johnson gets his transfer recruitment spot on this summer.
The Black Cats boss has already secured the services of Callum Doyle, Jacob Carney, Corry Evans and Alex Pritchard this summer and could now be about to swoop for a player who featured regularly in League One last season.
According to Football Insider, Sunderland have entered the race to sign Jordan Gabriel from Nottingham Forest.
It is understood that Johnson's side have made an approach to the Championship side as they look to bolster their full-back options ahead of their opening weekend clash with Wigan Athletic.
Sunderland are set to face competition for Gabriel from Blackpool who are determined to bring the 22-year-old back to Bloomfield Road following a fruitful loan spell last season.
A recent report by The Sun journalist Alan Nixon revealed that the Tangerines have stepped up their transfer pursuit by lodging a bid for the right-back.
Gabriel helped Blackpool seal promotion to the Championship earlier this year by making 29 league appearances for the club.
Considering that his current contract at the City Ground is not set to expire until 2024, it may take a sizeable offer from a potential suitor to convince Forest to part ways with Gabriel.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Whilst it is clear that Sunderland need to bolster their options at right-back this summer following the departure of Conor McLaughlin, it may turn out to be a mistake if they decide to spend a considerable amount of money on Gabriel.
Although the defender did show glimpses of his talent for Blackpool, a lack of consistency resulted in him averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.60 in the third-tier.
With the Tangerines looking to seal a deal, Sunderland may be dragged into a bidding war if they opt to pursue this particular move.
Instead of swooping for Gabriel, Johnson could find it more beneficial to switch his focus to drafting in a right-back who possesses a wealth of experience at this level.
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