Sunderland remain in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League and face Luton Town in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday.
Despite the club not knowing which league they will be in next season, work is reportedly already underway to bolster the squad heading into the 2023/24 campaign.
It was recently reported that the Black Cats are one of a number of teams showing an interest in Manchester United central midfielder Ethan Galbraith.
Stoke City, Derby County, and Premier League side Newcastle Unitedare also said to be keen on a deal for the Northern Irishman, who has been on loan at Salford in League Two.
His contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of June and the Premier League giants have decided not to extend his deal, which means that the young talent will be available on a free transfer this summer.
Who is Ethan Galbraith?
The £5.3k-per-week gem predominantly plays as either a central midfielder or in a defensive role in the middle of the park, whilst also being versatile enough to operate at right-back and on the wing.
Kristjaan Speakman and Tony Mowbray could now secure the heir to Corry Evans’ position in the squad by signing Galbraith from Man Utd this summer.
The Sunderland skipper, whose season was ended by a nasty knee injury in January, is a combative midfield player and produced some solid performances in the first half of the campaign.
Evans averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.82 and made 3.2 tackles and interceptions per game, whilst completing 81% of his passes and winning 54% of his duels in the second tier.
Galbraith has showcased his attacking quality with four goals and three assists in 32 league appearances for Salford as they secured a play-off place and displayed his defensive ability on loan at Doncaster in League One last term.
The Carrington youth graduate averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.78 and made 2.1 tackles and interceptions per match to go along with winning 50% of his battles.
The 21-year-old dynamo, who journalist Josh Bunting described as a “joy to watch“, is 11 years younger than Evans and could learn a lot from training and playing alongside his compatriot next season.
The youngster’s form at Doncaster Rovers and Salford has shown that he has the potential to make an impact at both ends of the pitch whilst being a reliable passer and spending a year at the Stadium of Light learning from an experienced player in his position could do wonders for his development.
Therefore, Mowbray could land the long-term heir to Evans’ position in the team by securing a bargain transfer for the 21-year-old in the coming weeks.