Alfred N'Diaye may be granted his wish to stay in Spain next season after Sevilla emerged as possible suitors.
N'Diaye spent the second half of the season at Real Betis but was unable to help them avoid relegation from La Liga. It is reported they had an option to buy the midfielder for a pre-agreed price of €4.2m, but that has now expired, leaving the road clear for their city rivals to enter the fray.
The player was due back at Sunderland this week to discuss his future, though it is believed he has no desire to be part of Gus Poyet's squad for next season and that feeling appears to be mutual. Recouping what was paid by Martin O'Neill and reinvesting it into the side is Poyet's preferred course of action.
Given the state of the Sunderland midfield, that may not be all that bad an idea. With Seb Larsson and Jack Colback out of contract this summer and Ki Sung-Yueng returning to Swansea City following his loan deal, Poyet is faced with having just Lee Cattermole, Liam Bridcutt and the lesser-spotted Cabral available going into the summer.
Even if Larsson, Colback or both could be persuaded to stay, you'd still hope for a serious injection of quality into that area of the side. It is long overdue. Only Poyet, Ellis Short and Lee Congerton will know how much money is available to do that, but if money is tight again - and given the scale of the rebuilding work needed you'd have to assume it is - it is easy to see why selling N'Diaye may be an attractive proposition.
It's a tough balance. N'Diaye is a useful player to have around in my opinion, and one I'd like to see us keep, but not if it's at the expense of far more necessary arrivals.