Sam Allardyce has already admitted that Sunderland are favourites for the drop, but he will be given plenty of financial backing in the New Year in an attempt to defy these expectations.
Chronicle Live have reported that the manager will be given £20 million to spend in the January transfer window as chairman Ellis Short looks to play his part in keeping the club up once again.
Strengthening the back line is likely to be the manager's priority, with Sunderland boasting the worst defence in the Premier League so far this season having conceded 26 goals, and it is understood that Allardyce has already identified targets to help him do this.
Defenders on Allardyce's shopping list
It was reported earlier this week that one player the Black Cats are keen on is Olympiakos left-back Arthur Masuaku.
Sunderland have already sent scouts out to watch the Frenchman in the Champions League, and will look to see off interest from Serie A giants Juventus, Roma and Internazionale in January to land their man.
However, another target for the club is James Collins, according to the Daily Star.
Allardyce is keen to reunite with the West Ham United man in an attempt to strengthen his current side's back line, with summer signings Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates having failed to convince in the centre of defence.
Collins has fallen down the pecking order at Upton Park, starting just three league games all season, and so whilst Sunderland's struggles may not appeal to the 32-year-old, an increase in playing time will.
Manager keen to strengthen in January
Allardyce is yet to make his mark on the team since arriving on Wearside, having been appointed manager in October, and so he will be eager to change this in the New Year.
The manager has already spoke about the importance of January and how he is looking to strengthen areas of his team, saying, via Chronicle Live, that he must "look at the whole structure of the squad" when the window comes around and assess whether or not there are "better player[s]" available who can give the side "something better than [they] already have."
The 61-year-old conceded that it is likely that Sunderland will not be "anywhere near safe when the window opens" and so "hopefully" they can recruit players in January who can "help [them] out of that position."