STEWART DONALD is adamant Sunderland’s summer spending plans will not be affected by a lack of outside investment, with takeover discussions having been shelved until the end of next month.

Donald and his fellow director, Charlie Methven, have held discussions with a number of parties who are interested in securing a significant stake in the Black Cats, with talks with US-based investor Mark Campbell having reached an advanced stage.

Earlier this month, it looked as though Campbell was set to buy up 74 per cent of Sunderland’s shares, with Donald, Methven and Juan Sartori all retaining a minority shareholding, but discussions have been placed on hold without a deal being completed.

Donald expects to be in a position where he can issue a more detailed update at the end of next month, and speaking at a fans’ talk-in over the weekend, the Black Cats owner conceded there is still a desire to secure external funding to guarantee the club’s long-term success.

However, in the short term, Donald and Methven have drawn up a budget for another season in League One that does not need any external support.

Had Sunderland been promoted in the play-off final, there might have been a more pressing need to swell the coffers. As it is, with Jack Ross preparing for another season in League One, the current owners are confident they can balance the books while still delivering a healthy transfer kitty and operating the biggest wage bill in the third tier.

When he was asked whether there was still a plan to attract outside investment at the supporters’ event on Saturday night, Donald said: “Maybe. Long term, we need investment. Do we need it this year? No. Do we need it next year? No. It’s required long term.

“Will we do something this summer? Maybe. But I’m not sure there’s a better option that us at the moment.

“Loads of people have expressed an interest – up to 14. There’s loads of interest, but it’s a case of, ‘Will you move to the area’ and ‘What’s the plan etcetera’. That cuts out 95 per cent of people, and there’s one or two that remain.”

Whatever happens, Donald is keen to remain as chairman, having stressed to all potential investors that he does not want to walk away.

“I would expect to be chairman for the next four to five years,” he said. “But only if it’s right for the club. We think we can raise investment with the same ethos for years to come, with us involved.”

With takeover discussions on the back burner, the Sunderland hierarchy will spend the next couple of weeks trying to make a series of breakthroughs in the transfer market.

The Black Cats have lost a number of senior players since the end of last season, with Reece James having joined Doncaster Rovers, Lamine Kone having completed a permanent transfer to Strasbourg, Robbin Ruiter, Adam Matthews and Luke Molyneux having been released, and Kazaiah Sterling having re-joined Tottenham following the completion of his loan deal.

Sunderland have held discussions with a number of players this summer, and are hoping to make up to eight signings before the League One transfer window closes at the end of August.

“We have three players possibly, and I would imagine the first signing will be announced (soon),” said Donald. “We want six to eight players, and they have to be better than what we have now.”

Sunderland have held talks with a number of players whose current contracts formally expired at the weekend.

Former Motherwell winger Chris Cadden, ex-Manchester United forward James Wilson and former Ayr United forward Lawrence Shankland have all been the subject of approaches from Sunderland, along with a number of other clubs.

Sunderland retain an interest in Doncaster’s £1m-rated striker John Marquis, and defender Harry Brockbank, who has turned down the offer of a new deal at Bolton Wanderers.

They could find themselves fending off interest in goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin in the next few days, with Championship side Millwall reportedly lining up a £1m bid for the 31-year-old goalkeeper.