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Farewell fair Seb; He couldn't make up his mind, so Sunderland conclude Larsson has gone forever

Reports in the north east press suggest Seb Larsson will likely not be returning to Sunderland next season.

Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Reports in the north east press this morning suggest Sunderland stalwart Seb Larsson will not return to the Stadium of Light next season.

Out of contract this summer, the 32-year-old was not named on the club's retained list for next season but was thought to have been weighing up the offer of a new contract.

According to the Sunderland Echo and the Newcastle Journal, the Black Cats have not received a definitive answer either way and so have concluded the veteran midfielder is looking to pastures new after six years on Wearside.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Larsson's last game? Chelsea away in May
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Seb Larsson joined Sunderland in 2011. Since then he's played over 200 games for nine different managers. The midfielder is one of the few long-serving players to have survived the unending series of successive regimes and philosophy changes at the Stadium of Light.

Larsson featured 21 times in the Premier League during the campaign just ended. He returned to the side in December following knee surgery after Euro 2016.

A regular under David Moyes, the Swede was sent off against Manchester United at the Stadium of Light in April and copped a three-game ban but returned to the squad thereafter and featured for 90 minutes in both of Sunderland's final two games of the season at Arsenal and Chelsea.

Would Larsson have been an asset in the Championship? Most Sunderland supporters probably would conclude that he would be. However, after much boast to suggest that his knee operation last summer had him running better than he had been for years, the rigours of the Premier League still appeared to take their toll on the veteran Swede last season.

And the Championship will certainly be no easier. Larsson has never shirked from the physical element of the game, nor is he a shrinking violent when it comes to getting amongst opponents, but doubts would naturally linger about the part he can play in a restructured second-tier Sunderland squad.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League
Seb Larsson's controversial foul which got him sent off against Manchester United
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Seb suggested during the recent international break that he was weighing up his options and his agent claimed the player had offers from Turkey, China and from Europe.

Certainly Trabzonspor were suggested as one club who had made an approach though they may not be the best option right now with three players having recently quit over claims of unpaid wages.

However, Larsson may well yet end up with an offer from a newly promoted or bottom half Premier League side. One willing to pay his wages for a season or two and take a punt on an experienced campaigner with eight straight seasons of top-tier football in a row to his name and a player looking to make the Swedish World Cup squad for next year.

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