Sunderland owner Ellis Short is ready to hand manager Martin O'Neill a bumper January transfer warchest.

The Mirror says the London-based American has decided to give O'Neill up to £8million to invest on his struggling side, despite the disappointing end to his first year in charge.

Sunday's defeat at Norwich means the Black Cats have won just two of their 14 league games so far this season - in 22 going back to last term.

Short forked out in the summer to buy Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, and is going to find more funds for a squad that needs strengthening - and a manager who's looking for backing.

O'Neill could increase his war-chest further with sales, but there are not many players in his small squad who would bring in a significant fee.