GUS POYET has outlined his transfer wish-list for the January sales by indicating to sporting director Lee Congerton that the Sunderland squad needs strengthening on a number of fronts.

The Sunderland boss and Congerton have had a couple of meetings to discuss window shopping and it is understood that the intention is to bring in a number of reinforcements – and fringe players like Jozy Altidore could also be moved on.

Poyet, whose side have climbed four places above the Premier League’s relegation zone recently, is keen to ensure he has stronger options for the second half of the season.

Now Poyet hopes to add a new centre-back, full-back, winger and striker before the winter deadline of 11pm on February 2, which has been extended because January 31 falls on a weekend.

Galatasaray winger Bruma, also wanted by Atletico Madrid, continues to be linked with a move to the Stadium of Light.

Poyet endured a largely frustrating summer after failing to make quick moves in the transfer market, but eventually drafted in Sebastian Coates and Ricky Alvarez on loan in addition to signing Santiago Vergini, Patrick Van Aanholt, Jack Rodwell and Will Buckley.

Alvarez arrived with plenty of expectation resting on his shoulders because of his three years at Inter Milan, but injury has prevented the Argentine from figuring regularly and he has only started once so far for Sunderland.

He came off the bench at Liverpool on Saturday and Poyet feels the club’s fans will see plenty more from him in the second half of the campaign.

Poyet said: “The idea was to have Ricky in the last third. For example, when there was a one versus one, he was fresh. We needed to put him in those situations because he has got the quality.

“It's England, he was getting used to the pace then he got injured, but he's getting back slowly. I think he is going to give us something extra. He could be the difference between winning and losing, or not winning.”

Makeshift winger Connor Wickham has been asked to perform on the left flank this season, following the departure Fabio Borini.

After months of negotiations, there have been fruitful developments and Wickham is edging closer to signing a new deal despite interest from Southampton and West Ham. Wickham’s current deal is due to expire next summer.

l Sunderland’s Under 21s will play a European double-header at the Stadium of Light over the next nine days, with the visits of Villarreal and Celtic in the Premier League International Cup.

Season card holders can watch the action free of charge. The Young Black Cats face Villarreal on Wednesday, December 10 at 7pm and Celtic on Thursday, December 18, 7.00pm kick-off.

Sunderland have been drawn alongside Villarreal, Celtic and Everton in Group D of the tournament, which includes some of the top Premier League Under-21 and elite development teams from England and other European leagues. General admission is £3 for adults and £1 for over-65s and under-16s.