Following an incredibly disappointing end to the previous campaign, Sunderland have now dusted themselves down and will be determined to push on in the third-tier later this year.
Ahead of the new term, Black Cats manager Lee Johnson has decided to make a plethora of alterations to his squad.
As well as releasing a host of players who ultimately failed to deliver the goods on a consistent basis last season, the Sunderland boss was forced to wave goodbye to Charlie Wyke earlier this month after the 28-year-old opted to join Wigan Athletic following the expiry of his deal at the Stadium of Light.
Whilst Johnson will now be on the lookout for a new centre-forward who is capable of filling the void left by Wyke, he may also need to bolster his options at right-back between now and the end of the summer transfer window.
Whereas Luke O'Nien is more than capable of thriving in this particular role, Sunderland are currently lacking depth in this position following the departure of Conor McLaughlin.
One of the players who has been touted as a potential target for Johnson is Nottingham Forest right-back Jordan Gabriel.
A report from Football Insider last week suggested that Sunderland had made an approach for the 22-year-old in an attempt to beat Blackpool to his signature.
Having illustrated some real signs of promise during his loan spell at Bloomfield Road last season, the defender could potentially go on to reach new heights in the third-tier if he opts to seal a move to Sunderland.
In a fresh update concerning Gabriel, it has now been revealed that Sunderland have stepped up their transfer pursuit.
According to the Northern Echo, the League One outfit have held talks with the right-back over a potential move as they try to lure him away from the City Ground.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Whilst it is unclear whether these discussions have resulted in Sunderland making a breakthrough, this would unquestionably be a clever bit of business by the club if they can get a deal over the line between now and the end of the transfer window.
Although Gabriel's struggles with consistency last season at this level resulted in him averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.60 in the third-tier, he still managed to illustrate glimpses of his undoubted talent.
Particularly impressive during Blackpool's 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in November, the full-back provided three key passes and won two aerial duels as he recorded a match rating of 7.89.
Providing that he is able to hit the ground running at Sunderland, Gabriel could become an instant hit amongst the club's supporters who will be desperate to see their side do well in League One next season.
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