ELLIS SHORT has told the German consortium interested in buying Sunderland they have until the end of the month to come up with an acceptable offer for the club.

And while the Black Cats owner accepts he will have to incur a significant loss as he looks to sell up, he will demand at least £90m before he is willing to relinquish his 100 per cent stake.

The Northern Echo:

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While an American investment company has expressed an interest in acquiring Sunderland, talks with an unnamed German group are at a much more advanced stage.

Short met members of the consortium in London last week, with the talks effectively scuppering Sunderland’s hopes of appointing Derek McInnes as their new manager.

McInnes was unhappy with the level of financial support he was being offered for this summer’s transfer window – Short does not want to spend more than £20m on new signings, even though Sunderland banked £30m from the sale of Jordan Pickford last week and have seen another 12 players depart since the end of the season – and was concerned at a lack of job security in the event of a takeover being completed.

Sunderland admitted the takeover talk was affecting their search for David Moyes’ successor when they issued a statement on Friday night, and by providing such a public update, Short and chief executive Martin Bain are hoping to prompt the German group into action.

The end of the month is regarded as a crucial staging post, with Sunderland’s players due to report to the Academy of Light for the start of pre-season training on June 29.

The deadline is flexible, as Short remains keen to sell and will not scupper his chances for the sake of a couple of days. But senior sources insist the Black Cats owner will close the door on takeover discussions if he does not feel there is a realistic chance of a swift conclusion by the start of July.

Weekend reports suggested the German group were looking to complete a deal for around £50m, but Short will not agree a deal at anything like that price.

Last season’s relegation has made the Black Cats a much less attractive proposition, particularly as the club’s most recent accounts revealed a debt of around £110m owed to Short and the banks.

Nevertheless, having invested around £200m of his own money since buying out the Drumaville consortium in 2008, Short will hold out for at least £90m before he is willing to walk away.

With the managerial search effectively on hold, Robbie Stockdale has been primed to take charge of the start of pre-season, and the first-team coach could yet find himself in the dug-out when Sunderland head to Bury for their opening pre-season friendly on July 7.

Paul Bracewell’s departure was confirmed at the weekend, meaning Stockdale, goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker and academy boss Elliott Dickman are the only senior members of the backroom staff still in their positions.

Stockdale took charge of Sunderland’s Under-23 team in last season’s Checkatrade Trophy, and has been charged with the task of ensuring everything is in place for pre-season to begin as normal.

Bracewell’s departure was agreed when it looked like McInnes would be arriving with his own number two, Tony Docherty, and sees the former midfielder leave Wearside after serving as assistant to David Moyes, Sam Allardyce and Dick Advocaat.

“It has been a great honour to serve Sunderland as a player, coach and assistant manager for a combined total of ten years,” said Bracewell. “I would like to thank the club and its staff, but also the supporters for the great backing I have received throughout my Sunderland career. I now look forward to the next challenge in my football career.”

There was more bad news over the weekend as the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Sunderland must pay Inter Milan £9.2m for Ricardo Alvarez.

Alvarez joined Sunderland on a season-long loan in August 2014, and even though he only made five Premier League starts, a clause in his contract stipulated the Black Cats would have to sign him permanently for €10.5m if they avoided relegation.

Sunderland claimed the clause was invalid because Alvarez sustained a serious knee injury that was inadequately addressed by Inter Milan’s medical team, but the Court of Arbitration has ruled in the Italian club’s favour.