It’s an absolute dead-cert that Wahbi Khazri will find himself at a decent club in the summer - it’s just a case of how much Sunderland seek to make from the deal, and who is prepared to pay the most to get him.
The Tunisian has had a fabulous season out on loan at Rennes and after a nightmare period on Wearside it’s more than fair to suggest that he’s thriving now that he’s back in his comfort zone.
There’ll be Premier League attention, but an extended stay with a top French club in Ligue 1 is probably the most likely destination for the winger-cum-striker ahead of next season.
If he can thrive at this summer’s World Cup playing for his country he’ll further his chances of earning a big-money move, and where he ends up is dependent upon whether or not he’s able to stand out as the talisman of his country in Russia.
Khazri admitted this week in the French media that he harbours ambitions of playing Champions League football, which will be music to the ears of the clubs that have been most heavily linked with securing his signature.
Likely to end up at: Marseille or Lyon.
As we reported back in March, Josh Robson has been told by the club that he’s free to leave upon the culmination of his contract in the summer - which means what happens beyond the end of his loan deal with Norwegian side Notodden FK is not entirely clear.
The right back took the bold decision to move to Norway on loan for a number of reasons - the main one being the opportunity to play regular first team football at a competitive level. Many youngsters that find themselves released at U23s level end up playing non-league football, so for Robson to remove himself from his comfort zone is commendable.
Likely to end up at: Notodden FK, again.
Though he’s still technically a Sunderland player, Fabio Borini has a deal already in place which will see AC Milan sign him on a permanent basis once his loan spell is officially over.
That said, there have been rumblings in Italy that whilst Borini is undoubtedly going to end up as a Milan player on a full-time basis, he may be sold on immediately in the summer to another Serie A club.
Juventus were linked just a few weeks back, as were Sampdoria and Sassuolo, and there are murmurings that Borini isn’t particularly fancied by Gennaro Gattuso - who has, more often than not, neglected to play him unless he’s desperately needed.
That said, Milan aren’t famed for giving managers long periods of time to impress, and with the club unable to finish any higher than sixth it could well be that Gattuso will move along this summer - meaning that Borini could get a fresh chance to impress whoever replaces him.
Likely to end up at: AC Milan.
Another young player who isn’t expected to stay with the club beyond the summer is Tom Beadling. Whilst he’s done fantastically out on loan with Dunfermline, he apparently isn’t fancied by decision-makers behind the scenes and as such the club have yet to decide upon whether or not they want to offer him a new deal.
The 22-year-old has flourished in his new role as a box-to-box central midfielder in Scotland, and immediately endeared himself to the Pars fans with a goal on his debut against Morton.
Personally I hope that the club aren’t daft enough to just let Beadling leave - for years now he’s been highly rated, but has had his progress stunted through a lack of a clear development plan.
Now that he’s starting to show signs of progress it would be strange of us to not at least try to integrate him into the first team squad next season - particularly since we’re dropping into League One and there’ll be an increased reliance on young players going forward.
Hopefully there’ll be some common sense used and Beadling will be afforded a more important role here on Wearside - I can’t help but look at the likes of John Egan and Conor Hourihane, players we needlessly let leave before giving them a chance, and wonder if its really worth making the same mistake again with a young man who is obviously talented enough to contribute is some part next season.
Likely to end up at: Sunderland... I hope.
To the surprise of many, Papy Djilobodji hasn’t done too badly away from Wearside this season and has shown with regular football at Dijon that he isn’t entirely terrible.
Like Wahbi Khazri, Papy has found himself back in his comfort zone and as a result has flourished - even earning himself a place back in the Senegal national team after a three-year exile which stemmed from a disagreement with their head coach, former Birmingham City and Portsmouth midfielder Aliou Cisse.
That said, getting shot of him won’t be easy. He was signed for an inflated fee and is on decent money, and convincing someone to take him off our hands might be difficult.
Likely to end up at: Dijon (on loan again!)
Sunderland’s club record transfer hasn’t even seen a minute of action for Watford this season - an absolutely pathetic and abhorrent situation that goes to show just how badly mismanaged we’ve been recently.
The Hornets have no obligation to sign Ndong in the summer and he’ll undoubtedly return back to Wearside. And for the money we paid to get him here, who realistically is going to splash decent cash to take him off our hands?
Like Papy Djilobodji, don’t be surprised to see him go out on another ridiculous loan somewhere whilst we’re still burdened with the fact he’s our player.
Likely to end up at: Some bang-average Ligue 1 club, like St Etienne.