Sunderland will be hoping to make a promising start to the 2021/22 League One season next month when they face Wigan Athletic at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats stepped up their preparations for this particular fixture by taking on Tranmere Rovers in their latest pre-season friendly yesterday.
Whilst only three senior players lined up for Sunderland at Prenton Park, they still managed to seal a draw against their League Two opponents.
Having seen his side falter during the closing stages of the previous campaign, Lee Johnson will be hoping to learn from these mistakes later this year as he aims to launch another push for promotion.
The 40-year-old has opted to put his own stamp on the Black Cats' squad by drafting in some fresh faces in recent weeks.
However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of Denver Hume who has yet to make a decision regarding his future at the club despite the fact that he was offered a new contract in May.
Although the left-back became a free-agent when his former deal expired last month, there is still a chance that he will renew his stay at Sunderland.
Making reference to Hume, Johnson has insisted that the defender will need to inform the club of his decision by August 7th as any further delay could have an impact on the Black Cats' transfer business.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo about the 22-year-old, Johnson said: "Denver is still injured and hasn't signed a contract, simple as that.
"I think it's got to be resolved, one way or another.
"It's restrictive to us if he's not going to sign, and it's not ideal if he is going to sign.
"I've said before that I see Luke O'Nien and Aiden McGeady as signings and Denver is in the same bracket.
"It's Denver or another.
"We need to make sure we resolve that and I expect it be resolved over the next ten days.
"For me the deadline is seventh of August, simple as that."
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Although Sunderland are close to sealing a deal for Liverpool defender Tony Gallacher, they will still be relatively short of options at full-back if Hume opts against extending his stay at the Stadium of Light.
Taking this into consideration, it is hardly a surprise that Johnson wants to resolve this particular issue relatively quickly as he may struggle to draft in a full-back who possesses a similar amount of talent in a short period of time.
Having featured on 63 occasions in this division during his career to date, Hume knows exactly what it takes to succeed in League One and thus it would unquestionably be a boost for Sunderland if he decides to sign the deal that has been offered to him.
However, the Black Cats may be able to thrive in the defender's absence if Johnson is able to get his recruitment spot on between now and the end of the transfer window.
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