LEE JOHNSON remains confident Carl Winchester will be confirmed as a Sunderland player in the next few days – and has hinted he will be searching for a new attacking option before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

The Black Cats have agreed a deal with Forest Green for Winchester, and the midfielder is understood to be close to finalising the terms of his switch to the North-East.

Johnson watched his Sunderland side draw 1-1 with Hull City this evening, and as well as signing Winchester, he also wants to use the transfer market to address a weakness in ‘another area of the field’.

That is understood to relate to the final third, with Johnson keen to add another option rather than rely on Charlie Wyke, Danny Graham, Aiden O’Brien and the injured Will Grigg for the remainder of the campaign.

Johnson said: “It’s still the case that we’re confident one (the Winchester signing) is near. It’s taking a bit longer to dot the is than I thought, but I still think that’ll happen.

“I do think we need something. I think we need a change of dynamic in a certain area of the pitch, although I don’t want to go into it any further.

“That will be the bit that will be most difficult for us – because of financial headroom that we have or haven’t got, or might have to create, and also because of the backlog of various injuries that we’ve got. For me, that one will be important.”

Johnson will spend the next few days working through a list of targets, although he accepts it will not be easy to recruit a new forward and still remain within the League One salary-cap limits.

A youngster on loan from a Premier League side is an option, although such a move would not be without its potential issues.

He said: “We’re trying very hard. We’ve got lists on lists on lists, but they’ve got to be available, accessible, affordable and match fit, otherwise what’s the point in signing them? There’s so many games that if it takes them a month to get match fit, then they’ll miss nine games.

“Obviously, they’re not easy to get. You’re either taking a chance with a young pup that hasn’t played and is at Premier League level, or you’re going and trying to recruit someone on a permanent, which is difficult for us because of the salary cap headroom.

“But you don’t get a job when you’re top of the league and absolutely flying, so we’ve got to hustle in this period and we’re ready to go with that.

“If we can’t get anything, then we go with what we’ve got and we might need to try (Lynden) Gooch in the nine-and-a-half role and get some goals out of him in that area. I thought he did well there today.”