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Sunderland to hand O'Neill massive £20M warchest

Martin O'Neill will be handed a £20 million transfer budget by Sunderland once he takes over the reigns.

The Daily Express says O'Neill's first game will be next week's visit of Blackburn Rovers, and he will soon have £20million to spend.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short acted swiftly to appoint a successor to Steve Bruce because he was convinced O'Neill would have been snapped up by one of their rivals, with both Blackburn's Steve Kean and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy under intense pressure.

O'Neill has told friends he is overjoyed at the thought of managing the club he supported as a boy in Northern Ireland - and the financial demands he has made are to be met.

He has asked for an immediate transfer kitty of about £20million, to spend in January or in the summer, and is determined to land a big-name striker because he thinks the team need a sharper edge.

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