With all this talk of a revolution at Sunderland, there hasn't been anywhere near as much talk of the outgoings as that of the lads coming in. This isn't entirely surprising considering how thin our squad actually is, yet we'd still certainly expect to see a few go out. We decided to take a look at who's definitely going, who's probably going and who just might go if the offer is right.
Who's Definitely Leaving?
It would be a big surprise if Danny's move to Hull broke down at this advanced stage, meaning he can bring an end to his nightmare on Wearside. He's taking a lot of stick at present is Danny, I'm sure he'd argue that hardly anybody around him performed in the final three games of the season. Unfortunately for him, his game isn't polished or effective enough for him to be judged on anything other than goals and those aren't coming. Like, not at all. What I see is a player severely lacking in confidence and looking miles away from the guy who put in a man of the match performance in the romp at St James'. It's getting to the point where you sense a move away may be the only remedy for his career, and you certainly would place Fletcher, Altidore and Sessegnon ahead of him in the current pecking order.
I have to say, I think a lot of the abuse is over the top and part of me was wanting to see him turn his career round here, in a similar way to how Danny Dichio managed to. Sincerely.
Well this section seems to be a little pointless now, doesn't it? You'll have to take my word for it when I tell you that I originally wrote this on Monday morning and actually had Hull down as a very possible destination. In fairness, all three promoted clubs were always going to be the ones with genuine interest in someone like Danny, considering his contribution at Swansea and his seeming availability. While his connections to Malkie Mackay and Wales made Cardiff City a popular choice of potential suitor for Danny, we have to remember that he wanted to be closer to home and Hull is a very viable option in that respect. I'd be surprised if he wasn't on the radar of all three promoted sides whether it be as a Plan A, B or C.
Is he still here? Seriously? What a sad way for Bardsley to end his Sunderland career. Not everyone's cup of tea, not least on this site, yet you'd think his services to the club would have been at least mildly appreciated in years to come. But his quite awful decision making on a drunken night out coincided perfectly with his simply awful season on the pitch, meaning that's now unlikely to happen. The only sticking point in a quick move for Phil could be his ridiculously high salary putting off any would-be suitors.
Steve Bruce is going to be linked with just about every Sunderland player who is set to move this summer. He does have previous regarding moving for players he's worked with though, and a move to Hull wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility. Taking Bardsley's ability into consideration, you'd expect lower Premier League sides and promotion chasing Championship sides to be the most interested in acquiring his services. He's been linked to Fulham and Q.P.R recently and taking into account the ownership of each club respectively, they both appear to be plausible links in that they could meet his wage demands. Fulham appears the likely option.
Who's Probably Going?
The little Welshman has been a bit of a team-performance chameleon for Sunderland since being brought to the club as one of Steve Bruce's replacements for Jordan Henderson. Whenever the The Black Cats seem to tick on the field as a unit and put in an accomplished performance, he's at the heart of it. He moves the ball about effortlessly and almost looks unplayable in the centre of the park. Unfortunately for him, he's had some stinkers as well. These normally come when the rest of the side resemble a collective bunch of half-wits to be fair, but he can take things to the extreme such as his own goal against Everton and horror back pass at Villa Park in the 6-1 mauling.
Vaughan was never an O'Neill type of midfielder and I'm not sure he's a Di Canio one either. With just a year of his contract remaining, it's extremely likely he'll be moved on. Luckily for him, he'll ALWAYS be remembered for that goal.
Not so much a potential destination as a very probable one in this case, it's hard to see David end up anywhere but Selhurst Park this summer. The only thing that gives me a little doubt of this is that something hasn't materialised as of yet. During his time at Blackpool, the now Eagles boss Ian Holloway gushed:
David Vaughan is a proper midfield player because he can do all of it. He does it in an unsung way and in such an efficient way that sometimes people don't notice. But I notice that week in, week out that Dave isn't far off the best player I've ever had.
And David shared his old manager's affection on his arrival on Wearside:
I don't think anyone can compare to Olly, to be honest. I left on good terms. He has been really good to me and very supportive, so I can only thank him. There was never a dull day with Ollie around.
Ahhhhhh, how sweet? He'll probably score the winner in their first home game of the season, whoever that's against. With Vaughan being a Welshman, it would be foolish not to throw the Cardiff link in there also. And Swansea. Why not. He'd probably fit in there actually.
I think we all initially thought that Di Canio would like to see the Sunderland captain driving his midfield this season. The arrival of Cabral appears to the one that may nudge Catts out the door, however, and with perhaps another central midfielder on his way in then Sunderland will probably decide to cash in. More than anything, Di Canio portrays himself to be quite the pragmatist and will no doubt decide that a Lee Cattermole sitting in the stands is no good to anybody. Except opposing ball-playing midfielders.
God, I'm going to mention Hull a lot here aren't I? As lazy as the link is, it's hard to see Bruce not come in for him as he did when he took over here. Fulham have also been linked with the former Wigan man and he'd certainly add something to a midfield that has looked particularly soft since Dembele's departure. Sam Allardyce and Mark Hughes strike me as two managers who'd be interested in Lee also, but I reckon the Stoke PR team would have a fit should The Potters move in for a player with his reputation given their, erm, reputation.
It's thought that Di Canio and his team fancied the idea of keeping the South Korean around this season, to see if he could replicate his form out in Germany. If Borussia Dortmund fancy a player you've then got the chance to work with, then it's a natural way to think I suppose. I always thought he looked decent for his age and experience to be honest.
The departure of Danny Graham may suggest the slightest chance of such a scenario happening, but in all probability if somebody makes a very generous offer for a player still deemed a bit of a gamble, and with a year left on his contract, then you'd likely sell him. It's worth keeping in mind though that De Fanti and Angeloni are very big admirers of the Korean.
The Bundesliga. Yep, I'm being that vague.
Who Could Maybe Leave?
After a quite huge and heavy fall to earth for James last season, this next campaign could be a defining one for him. With Adam Johnson and Emanuele Giaccherini sure to start the season as the wide men, James will have to battle it out with Seb Larsson and the incoming Charalampos Mavrias to be next in line. I don't think Di Canio will actively try and offload the Irishman, however, as explains his place in the 'maybe' section. His age and workrate should bide him more time and another chance, but if a Championship side like, say Boro, stuck in a cheeky offer and he wanted to go then it's a possibility.
Opinions on whether the pint sized forward should be sacrificed for the greater good appear to change on a daily basis. Sanctioning any sale for the Benin man could pave the way for a big money signing to arrive and allow them to feature more naturally in Di Canio's regimental systems, although a very, very good offer would have to be made.
Danny Rose or a striker with a big reputation would be potential signings should this happen, yet the thought of him linking up in an interchangeable offensive line with Johnson and Giaccherini is intriguing to say the least.
We may eventually see the best of Sess yet. De ja vu. Scoring the first five goals against the hotel staff XI recently has probably made us all get back on side a little.
Considering Jack has turned down a new contract, he has to be included here. With Steve Bruce and Hull (surprise surprise) sniffing around, who knows what's in the former academy captain's head right now. Being brutally honest, Di Canio won't want to let a player capable of filling in so many positions leave, meaning a better contract offer is probably being prepared as we speak.