Takeover talks drag into another week
With a deal yet to conclude, Sunderland owner Ellis Short will continue talks with prospective buyers for the club over the weekend and into next week.
But as speculation mounts, chief executive Martin Bain has sought to present a 'business as usual' message in the pages of the Sunderland Echo this morning. The local paper portrayed the man charged with finding the Black Cats a new boss as actively continuing that hunt.
And whilst Bain has moved to refute social media rumours that he will be removed from his position at the Stadium of Light to be replaced by former Sunderland midfielder Stefan Schwarz, news reaches us that the Swede has packed up his house in Portugal and is on the move. But is Wearside his next destination?
Schwarz has long been rumoured to have some involvement in a consortium taking a look at buying the Black Cats. His presence at successive matches at the Stadium of Light at the end of the season triggered speculation he was in town for a prolonged period for reasons beyond catching up with his old club.
But wherever his next intended destination may be, the 48-year-old and his family are on the move and set to vacate their apartment in southern Portugal.
Schwarz spent time playing for Benfica before moving to England in 1995 to sign for Arsenal. He and his family have been settled in Portugal for sometime with business interests and media work occupying his time.
The popular former player made over 60 appearances for Sunderland between 1999 and 2003 and has always insisted he would love to return to Wearside one day.
Born to German parents, Schwarz has been touted as a potential sporting director in any new set-up at the Stadium of Light under new owners. He also expressed an interest in being the Black Cats new manager when David Moyes left last month. Whether he's involved in the current takeover bid, we can only speculate at present.
Reports continue to insist that a German-led consortium remain close to agreeing a deal to buy Sunderland. A figure of £85m seems to have been set with further payments made to Ellis Short if the club can achieve promotion within a defined timescale - most likely five years.
As for the identity of the bidders, nothing has ever been publicly made available though there appears to be two German businessmen leading the bid who have been in England for a little while and will remain into next week while negotiations continue.
O'Shea opts to stay
Rejoice! The ageing legs of John O'Shea look set to grace the Stadium of Light for another season.
According to the Sunderland Echo this morning, the 36-year-old veteran defender will accept the offer of a season-long deal put on the table to stay on Wearside.
O'Shea has been with Sunderland since 2011 and turned out over 180 times for the club.
The Republic of Ireland international - who will be aiming to stake a place at the 2018 World Cup - was said to have offers from other Championship sides including Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Good news for many it seems. In a snap poll we ran yesterday, nearly 60% of the votes cast for the player that fans would most like to stay out of O'Shea, Seb Larsson, Fabio Borini and Lamine Kone opted for the stalwart centre half.
O'Shea is one of the few first team squad members to have committed himself to Sunderland if these reports are true.
So far, Wahbi Khazri, Fabio Borini, Papy Djilobodji and Bryan Oviedo have all to some extent indicated a desire to exit the Stadium of Light whilst Jordan Pickford has already gone and Jermain Defoe will be confirmed as a Bournemouth player next week.
Lamine Kone is expected to be sold and youngster Joel Asoro has recently been talking up his options if he feels he can't get first team football next season.
Billy Jones has said he would like to stay though, which is great news.
Fenerbahce can't meet Jeremain Lens' wage demands
According to reports in Turkey, despite reaching an agreement with Sunderland for the permanent transfer of want-away winger Jeremain Lens, Fenerbache will give up on their pursuit because they are unable to match his wage demands.
Turkish TV channel NTV Spor report that the 29-year-old Dutchman will only remain at the Istanbul club if he lowers his expectations and Fenerbahce have already moved to look at other targets.
Borini loan exit?
Reports originating in Italy have claimed Lazio are on the brink of agreeing a loan deal for Sunderland forward Fabio Borini.
The rumours which began in an article in Italian newspaper Il Messagaro have spread as far as the Daily Mail. The claims suggest the Rome-based club have proposed a try-before-you-buy deal for the 26-year-old following Borini's sequence of disappointing seasons in English football.
That offer consists of a £1m loan fee up-front with a view to making the deal a £4m permanent one at the end of the season. With Borini's stock at a career-low following his failure at Liverpool and now Sunderland, that may yet prove the best option for shifting him off the Black Cats' bloated wage bill.