SUNDERLAND intend to make more use of the Premier League loan market next season – with Champions League winners Liverpool firmly in their sights.

While Jack Ross has been assured funds are available to strengthen his squad with permanent signings this summer, the Black Cats’ recruitment team also feel there will be an opportunity to attract top-flight youngsters on loan given Sunderland’s stature in League One.

Last season, Sunderland signed Burnley defender Jimmy Dunne and Tottenham forward Kazaiah Sterling for the second half of the campaign, but the upheaval caused by a change of ownership meant they were unable to make any Premier League loan signings for the first half of the season.

That is set to change to this summer, with discussions already having taken place about a number of potential targets currently with Liverpool.

A couple of Sunderland’s academy players are due to move to Liverpool this summer, and while Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven are far from happy about losing promising under-17s before they have progressed to the first team, they have opted not to make the process more difficult than it already is in order to maintain a healthy relationship with the Anfield hierarchy.

The talks between the two clubs have touched on the possibility of at least one youth player moving in the opposite direction to spend time on loan at Sunderland next season, and further discussions are anticipated in the next couple of months.

Speaking during his recent appearance on the Roker Rapport podcast, Donald said: “There are two players who will go to Liverpool. We tried to keep them. We said to the parents, ‘If you really want to go, you have to put it in writing’. The parents have written in and said, ‘Thank you, Sunderland, we want our lads to go to Liverpool’.

“We could turn around and make that awkward, and then they will go in the summer anyway, or we can talk to Liverpool and try to get sell-ons, which they don’t have to give is.

“Both of those lads, because of the relationship we’ve got with Liverpool – which could see some players come in the other direction – we’ve opted for a good working relationship.”

Meanwhile, former Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong is set to leave French side Guingamp after just six months following his employers’ relegation from Ligue 1.

Ndong, who left Wearside in disgrace after his contract was cancelled last season, is set to move to Turkey to join Trabzonspor, with the Turkish media suggesting he is set to increase his salary to €1.5m-a-year.