Sunderland manager David Moyes insists the club aren’t going to be “easy pickings” during the January transfer window, despite their struggles in the Premier League.
The Black Cats have already had to fend off offers for some of their star players during the winter window and it is expected they will have more interest to deal with before the end of the month.
Hitman Jermain Defoe was the subject of an offer from former club West Ham, while full-back Patrick Van Aanholt was attracting the attention of Crystal Palace.
However, Moyes and Sunderland stood firm to rebuff the offers as they look to ensure they keep the squad together for what is likely to be another relegation battle.
Sunderland, who are priced at 1.50 to go down, struggled through the first half of the campaign after a summer of turmoil, which saw Moyes appointed as Sam Allardyce’s successor, and they currently sit 18th in the Premier League.
The Black Cats have been left short on options already for potentially the next six weeks with the likes of Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong and Wahbi Khazri all away on Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Moyes admitted it is only normal that his key performers will be targeted by other clubs but insists Sunderland will not be forced into a sale just because of their lowly position in the table.
“We’ve actually had a few bids for a lot of our players because we have some good players here. Maybe people think we could be easy pickings but were not,” Moyes said.