Phil Bardsley has admitted he is set to leave Wearside this summer after being frozen out by new Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio.
The defender came in for scathing criticism from Di Canio at the end of last season after a picture was posted on Twitter showing him on a late-night visit to a casino.
And while Di Canio has taken his squad to northern Italy for a pre-season training camp, Bardsley has been left behind in the North East.
It now seems certain that the 28-year-old will move before the season starts, with newly-promoted Hull City – who are managed by ex-Sunderland boss Steve Bruce – one of the sides that have been linked with the right-back.
“I think it’s quite clear to everyone that I am not part of the plans at the club, so I’m just waiting and hopefully something will pop up in the near future,” said Bardsley.
“There has been interest from other clubs, so hopefully something is just around the corner.”
Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole has also been left behind in England and is another member of the old guard who could be set to depart.
The former Middlesbrough and Wigan midfielder has played just 45 minutes of Premier League football since suffering knee ligament damage in November.
He underwent surgery in March which meant he has been out of action for the entire time that Di Canio has been in
charge. But the Italian is keen to change Sunderland’s playing style and that could signal the end of Cattermole’s time at the club, just nine months after he signed a new contract that runs until 2016.
While Bardsley and Cattermole could be on their way out, Sunderland are continuing to overhaul their squad and the club is today expected to confirm the signing of USA international striker Jozy Altidore.
Altidore visited Wearside yesterday to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms after the Black Cats agreed a fee of around ï¿½6m with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar for his services at the end of last week.
The 23-year-old, who scored 31 goals for Alkmaar last season, is now expected to travel to Italy to link up with the rest of the Sunderland squad. Altidore will become Sunderland’s seventh summer signing, with new director of football Roberto De Fanti already bringing Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, David Moberg Karlsson, Vito Mannone and Duncan Watmore to the club.
But the Black Cats have missed out on another of their transfer targets, with teenage left-back Benjamin Mendy choosing a move to French giants Marseille over a switch to Wearside. Sunderland had agreed a fee in the region of ï¿½3m with Mendy’s club Le Havre and the 18-year-old visited the Academy of Light for a medical and talks over personal terms last week, but once Marseille made their interest known he made it clear that that was his preferred option.
Marseille have announced they have struck a deal with Le Havre, and the player confirmed last night on Twitter that he is now a Marseille player.