STEWART DONALD insists takeover talk on Wearside has not prevented Sunderland from making progress on the transfer front – on a day when they have missed out on a leading attacking target.

Sections of Black Cats fans have been worried that Mark Campbell’s ongoing discussions aimed at taking control at the Stadium of Light are having a negative impact on early summer business in the market for new signings.

That has been intensified today with news that Rotherham United have broken their transfer record to land Sunderland target Freddie Ladapo from Plymouth Argyle.

Rotherham are believed to have agreed a fee of around £500,000 for the forward, which has the potential to rise by a further £150,000 with add-ons, and that has been struck before Sunderland have firmed up their interest.

Ladapo, 26, had been identified as one of the attacking players capable of boosting Jack Ross’ options in the final third, along with Rotherham winger Jon Taylor and Doncaster striker John Marquis.

Millers boss Paul Warne said: “Freddie is someone we have tried to sign in the past. There have been numerous phone calls lately. We have been chasing him, along with many other clubs, for many weeks.”

Ladapo had caught Sunderland’s eye with his 18 goals in 42 league starts and Portsmouth had also pushed for his signature since the end of the season.

He said: “The club approached me in a very professional manner and sold me the dream of coming here and doing well.”

Ladapo’s move has left Sunderland eyeing up other targets, with Doncaster’s prolific marksman Marquis known to be top of the agenda as things stand.

Sunderland are yet to make a signing this summer and the only business to have been concluded so far is the departure of Reece James plus a handful of other players being released.

It has led to worries among fans that there has been a delay in business because of Campbell’s attempts for the consortium he is leading to become the largest shareholder at Sunderland.

But Donald, the Sunderland owner and majority shareholder as things stand, insists that is not the case and he claims they are looking to sign a significant number of players to boost the push for promotion after last season’s disappointment.

Donald Tweeted: “We had a squad that finished fifth and needs to collect around ten more points than last season. Any new signings are coming into a more settled environment and we probably need around six to eight players this season and we are sure to make some signings soon. Patient not complacent.”

But the Sunderland chief insists Campbell’s talks are not a problem on that front.

He added: “Investment is non issue. It hasn’t gone quiet – papers all got ahead of themselves saying a deal was done etc. I am making sure IF we get some investment it is right. We do not need it now it’s for the future so no hurry but it may happen. Either way we have things under control.”