David Moyes has issued a stark warning to Sunderland owner Ellis Short about the enormous changes needed to give the club a realistic chance of gaining promotion from the Championship as he insisted he will have to sign an entirely new team.
Moyes has already held preliminary discussions with the club’s owner and chief executive Martin Bain following relegation this week and has made it clear that, as things stand, the squad is ill-equipped for life in the second tier.
The former Manchester United and Everton manager has been assured by Short that he wants him to continue as manager, despite presiding over a dismal campaign which has brought the club's 10-year stay in the Premier League to an insipid conclusion.
Moyes, though, has refused to commit, conscious of the fact many supporters want him to leave, but also wary of staying on if he is not going to be given the tools needed to rebuild his reputation on Wearside.
Sunderland tumble into the Championship in turmoil on and off the pitch, with the latest set of accounts revealing they have debts of more than £110m, which may help explain why Short has failed to find a buyer over the last 12 months.
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Telegraph Sport understands Moyes has already lined up deals for a number of players already playing in the Championship but needs the green light from the board to proceed.But, if they are going to have any chance of making an instant return, Short will have to back Moyes with money rather than words because of the radical changes the manager feels are necessary.
Moyes, who has been stunned by the poor attitude of some of the players at the Stadium of Light, believes he will need to bring in at least half a new squad and wants to make sure the players who have failed to respond to him are moved on as quickly as possible.
Sunderland will look to sell Lamine Kone, Fabio Borini and Whabi Khazri as soon as a miserable season has ended, while they are also braced for bids for goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The England Under-21 international was shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award and Sunderland will want at least £20m for the 23-year-old. There is also little chance Sunderland will hold on to Jermain Defoe, who has a clause in his contract that enables him to leave on a free transfer after relegation.
Of the players who are out of contract at the end of the season, only Victor Anichebe and captain John O’Shea are likely to be offered new deals, although Seb Larsson could also stay.
Joleon Lescott, Steven Pienaar, Jan Kirchoff will not be offered extensions, while Adan Januzaj, Jason Denayer and Javier Manquillo will return to Manchester United, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid at the end of their loan agreements.
Short has told Moyes he will respond to his request in a couple of weeks and understands that the Scot will quit if he does not provide the funds needed to overhaul the squad.