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Sunderland boss Bruce planning busy January

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is planning a busy January market.

The Journal says although the window doesn't open for two months, the Black Cats began planning as soon as the September deadline passed. Bruce and chief scout Ricky Sbragia have drawn up a shortlist of areas to be strengthened that focuses mainly on strengthening the back four and the wide midfield areas.

The right-back and left-back areas are understood to be a priority, while Bruce is also looking for competition for Steed Malbranque on the right of midfield.

Bruce has also included a new centre-back on his shopping list - although this is not understood to be a priority after the excellent form of Michael Turner and the improvements of Anton Ferdinand and Nyron Nosworthy over recent weeks.

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