Sunderland's unfortunate demise during the closing stages of the previous campaign ultimately culminated in the club missing out on promotion to the Championship.
Now set for another season in League One, the Black Cats will be desperate not to replicate the mistakes that they made earlier this year.
With manager Lee Johnson facing the unenviable task of trying to build a squad which is good enough to challenge for a top-two finish in the third-tier, it will be intriguing to see whether he is able to get his transfer recruitment spot-on.
The Black Cats boss has already managed to secure the services of four new players and is now seemingly eyeing up a swoop for an individual who knows exactly what it takes to achieve success in this division.
A report by Football Insider on Wednesday suggested that Sunderland had made an approach for Nottingham Forest right-back Jordan Gabriel.
The 22-year-old, who is also currently the subject of a considerable amount of interest from Blackpool, could be drafted in as a replacement for Conor McLaughlin who was released by Johnson.
However, with the Tangerines opting to submit a bid for Gabriel, Sunderland will need to act quickly if they are indeed interested in bringing the right-back to the Stadium of Light.
In a fresh update concerning Gabriel, it has now been revealed just how much Sunderland will have to pay this summer.
According to the Daily Mirror journalist James Nursey, Forest are reportedly willing to part ways with Gabriel if they receive a fee believed to be in the region of £300k.
The right-back helped Blackpool seal promotion to the second-tier via the play-offs during his loan spell at the club last season as he made 29 league appearances.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
If this valuation turns out to be correct, Sunderland ought to splash the cash on Gabriel as this could turn out to be an incredibly shrewd bit of business by Johnson.
Particularly impressive during Blackpool's league clashes with Wigan Athletic and Charlton Athletic during the previous campaign, the full-back managed to help his side keep clean-sheets in both fixtures as he recorded WhoScored match ratings of 7.89 and 7.67.
Although Gabriel still needs to work on his consistency, he clearly possesses the talent needed to thrive at this level and thus he could eventually become a key player for Sunderland if they beat Neil Critchley's side to the defender's signature.
Providing that Johnson is able to back up this particular swoop by signing some classy operators in the coming weeks, it wouldn't be at all surprising if the Black Cats make a stunning start to the upcoming campaign with Gabriel in their side.
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