Retained list due in the next week
David Moyes says Sunderland will issue their retained list within the next week - the annual return outlining those players to be either offered a new deal or let go.
With eight players out of contract at the end of the season, the Black Cats face a crucial summer to rebuild a squad with a top-ten Premier League wage bill - which finished bottom of the pile - into a leaner version which can push for promotion from the Championship.
With speculation rife as to who the club might hang on to, the Sunderland boss told the Sunderland Echo:
We won't put names out yet, but the players all know and we're in discussions with quite a few of their agents etc.
The Chief Executive [Martin Bain] is dealing with that. After the season there'll be a retained list as you'd expect.
Moyes also dropped a hint that long-serving pair, Sebastian Larsson and John O'Shea, are likely to remain with the club suggesting he is keen to keep some of those who "know the club" on the books.
With over 380 appearances for the club between them, O'Shea and Larsson sure know Sunderland well. Both will have one eye on making the 2018 World Cup for their respective countries so their next steps will be crucial for the pair personally.
'Target' to stay at Dinamo București
Sunderland may miss out on a rumoured target who is on the verge of signing a permanent deal with the club at which he is currently on loan.
Reports in France recently claimed the Black Cats have been monitoring Sheffield Wednesday defender Claude Dielna. The 29-year-old centre-half has spent the last few months in Romania with Dinamo București having been frozen out of the first team picture at Hillsborough.
Romanian TV station GSP have reported that the Bucharest team are on the verge of making Dielna the club's highest paid player earning 12,000-euros a month.
Dielna was mooted as a replacement for Lamine Kone. The Sunderland link may well have been as flimsily based on the fact that both players were youth team mates at Lorient.
Defender set for return
It looks increasingly probable that 19-year-old defender Michael Ledger will return to England when his current loan deal at Norwegian side Viking Stavanger ends at the end of next month.
The Eliteserien club had hoped to extend his stay in Scandinavia after an impressive spell in Norway but Sunderland's relegation has increased the likelihood Ledger will be required for the Championship campaign.
The Sunderland academy product's initial loan deal is due to expire on June 30th and having started each of Viking's opening nine games, the Norwegian club remain keen to keep hold of him.
Bottom of the league Viking are skint and will have no money to replace Ledger. The Consett-born centre-back told Norwegian TV station VG that his immediate future rests upon decisions made at Sunderland:
If I stay with Viking or go to England I do not mind. Whatever they decide I will attempt to make the best out of the situation. I still have a lot to learn.
With David Moyes set to lose a host of central defenders this summer - Lamine Kone, Jason Denayer, Papy Djilobodji and Joleon Lescott most likely - the player who turns 20 in August may yet get an opportunity to establish himself in the first team at the Stadium of Light in the Championship.
Ledger was sent on loan to Viking in February and it's probable that was done with an eye on him gaining some experience ahead of what even then looked likely to be a second-tier campaign next season.
Viking coach Ian Burchnell says he is awaiting Sunderland's decision:
I am in dialogue with them [Sunderland] and it may go against they they will let him stay here. But we'll wait and see - the power is in their hands.
Chairman comments on Sunderland transfer policy
Hot on the heels of Roker Report's scout report on Peterborough winger Marcus Maddison, Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony has this to say on his prized asset and his perception of Sunderland transfer policy:
Type of player your fans would love but in today's day/age clubs that size usually stick to foreign market etc which is shame. All the best! https://t.co/kEI4E5O6Ka— Darragh MacAnthony (@DMAC102) May 19, 2017
Someone may need to explain 'Britishness' to the Posh supremo.
Durham-born Maddison has been linked with Sunderland several times in the last couple of years. Likely to leave London Road this summer, the former Newcastle trainee is said to be a top target for Leeds, Aston Villa and Sheffield United.