SUNDERLAND'S hopes of boosting their relegation chances with new players look to be destined for failure.

Black Cats boss Howard Wilkinson is thought to be highly unlikely to bring in fresh blood before the closure of the transfer window tonight.

Wilkinson had hoped to make Japanese World Cup star Kazuyuki Toda his only major signing during January.

But the midfielder opted instead for a move to Tottenham, leaving the Sunderland chief with under a week to find a replacement.

However, despite being linked with former Ipswich midfielder Martijn Reuser and having Norwegian winger Tommy Oren on trial, Wilkinson's attempts have hit a brick wall.

Earlier this week Northern Echo Sport revealed the Sunderland manager had already resigned himself to the fact he may have to make do with the injury-hit squad currently at his disposal - that now appears to becoming reality.

Wilkinson, though, will still have Manchester United target David Bellion on his playing staff for the remainder of the season at least.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wants the £3m-rated Frenchman at Old Trafford and it had been thought a move may have come off today.

However, Ferguson has admitted he will not be making any new additions until the summer -when he is expected to make a fresh move for Bellion, who will then be out of contract at the Stadium of Light.

He said: "Nothing is going to happen on the transfer front. I'd like to have brought in one extra player and it would have given us back up in certain positions but it is very difficult in this transfer window. It would have been good to add another name this month but it wasn't to be."

* Sunderland's Michael Reddy has joined Sheffield Wednesday on a one month loan.

The 22-year-old has been in good form during a three-month stint at York City this season and former Hartlepool boss Chris Turner, now in charge at Hillsborough, has acted to take Reddy to Sheffield.

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