Once Dylan McGeouch and Reece James complete their moves to Sunderland, there will be a push to get some of the high earners off the books, specifically starting with the foreign quintet of Bryan Oviedo, Wahbi Khazri, Papy Djilobodji, Lamine Kone and Dider Ndong.
Despite also being a high earner, Lee Cattermole is less of a priority to move on than those five for the time being.
Reading were recently linked with a loan move for Kone but we understand that Paul Clement’s side are unable to afford the Ivorian international defender, so there’s little chance of a reunion of last season’s impregnable O’Shea/Kone partnership at the Madjeski Stadium. Instead, Kone is looking likely to move to either a Turkish or French club, and because a departure is close the decision has been taken to allow him to stay on Wearside and train with our U23s side whilst the rest of the first-team squad are in Portugal.
Torino’s move for Ndong appears to be dead thanks to both agent and player asking for too much from the Serie A side, and along with Papy Djilobodji he simply hasn’t turned back up for work - meaning that both men are within breach of contract.
Whilst the club would like to shift them both along, the fact of the matter is that they remain employees of the football club for the time being and, as such, they are expected to be back and on the training ground with the rest of their teammates.
Bryan Oviedo is due to return from World Cup duty with Costa Rica but despite performing well for his country, it may be not be easy to find a new club for the left-back. When David Moyes signed him from Everton, the 28-year-old cost a fee of £7m and he signed a three-and-a-half year deal which currently sees him earn £42,000 per week.
There has been interest in the player, particularly from Club Brugge, but unsurprisingly such high wages are proving a sticking point for interested clubs.
Khazri is also due to return from World Cup duty after Tunisia were knocked out at the group stage but the 27-year-old excelled at the tournament, being the first player at this year’s finals to wrack up two goals and two assists. Those good performances coming off the back of a stellar season on loan at Rennes in Ligue 1 means there are no shortage of interested clubs.
We reported at the weekend that the club had already rejected three offers of £7.5m for the player and that a deal to sell Khazri was incredibly close, so he may be the next player out of the door.