Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is eager to learn his January transfer budget.

The Black Cats' poor start to the campaign has exposed the gaps in O'Neill's squad, and also the lack of strength in depth in key areas.

And O'Neill wants to address those problems when the transfer window reopens in the New Year, with a physically imposing midfielder at the top of his shopping list.

O'Neill told the Sunday Sun: "I haven't spoken to the owner about the transfer window just yet.

"December is upon us but we will get some time [to talk]. I think the owner this time will be in the country for a couple more weeks than he would normally be.

"That's encouraging, so I'm sure I will get a chance to speak to him in the not-too-distant future."