Sunderland have pledged their full backing to Peter Reid in his battle to revive the club's Premiership fortunes.

Manager Reid appeared to be on rocky ground before the Black Cats scraped survival last month following a season of major under-achievement.

But the BBC World Cup pundit has been promised the financial clout to implement a major summer shakeup that looks certain to see the club's existing £4.5m transfer record smashed.

Reid's top priority is to bring in two goalscorers after releasing £3m flop Lilian Laslandes and deciding not to press ahead with a permanent move for Parma's Cameroon ace Patrick Mboma.

Reid wants Leeds' Irish pair - £4m fullback Gary Kelly and £8m striker Robbie Keane - to join Phil Babb, who signed on a Bosman from Sporting Lisbon last week. The Sunderland boss has also been linked with Leeds winger Jason Wilcox, and he is also keen on Newcastle keeper Steve Harper.

Club official Mark Blackbourne confirmed that Reid will be given necessary funds to overhaul his squad.

He said: "Peter loves the football club and he is determined to have a better season than the last one.

"We recognise that it wasn't much fun for the fans and we know we have to provide them with a better footballing experience."

l Liverpool hitman Jari Litmanen could emerge as a shock target for Newcastle.

Bobby Robson is a big admirer of the multi-talented Finnish striker, who is unhappy over the lack of first team chances at Anfield.

Litmanen, 31, has been linked with a move back to his former club Ajax but Newcastle are also interested.