David Moyes says he may try to sign free agents to boost his Sunderland strike-force after Fabio Borini was ruled out for three months.
The 25-year-old Italian tore an adductor muscle while taking a free-kick during Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Southampton, his first appearance since the opening day of the campaign.
Moyes admitted losing the Italian is a blow and he might now try to bring in someone without a club as cover after failing to land all his targets on transfer deadline day this week.
He told the Sunderland Echo: “Borini, we expect to be out for three months, that is a rough guide. There is a chance it could be a bit quicker.
“We are being told it is three months though, an adductor that came off the bone.”
He added: “We worked incredibly hard to try to get a striker in all through the window. We didn’t get anything late on, which we thought we would do. We may have to go and look into somebody who could give us an alternative for coming off the bench or a wee bit of back-up through the season.”
Borini will join long-term absentees Vito Mannone, who has now undergone surgery on ruptured elbow ligaments and will be out of action for a similar period, and Sebastian Larsson in the treatment room, while key midfielders Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff have not managed a single appearance between them so far this season.