Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessègnon look set to emulate Simon Mignolet in leaving Sunderland this summer as Paolo Di Canio continues his radical overhaul of the first-team squad.
Cattermole, a 25-year-old defensive midfielder, was a favourite of both Steve Bruce and Martin O'Neill at the Stadium of Light and could yet rejoin Bruce at Hull, although he is also attracting interest from Cardiff.
Matters could be complictated by the fact that only last October O'Neill gave Cattermole – who missed much of last season with persistent knee problems – a new contract stretching until 2016, but like Sessègnon and Phil Bardsley he now knows he is regarded as far from integral to the team's future.
It seems that an alarming penchant for collecting yellow and red cards, allied to his poor injury record, has counted against Cattermole as Paolo Di Canio attempts to import a new breed of pacy, attacking and ultra-fit players.
With Sessègnon now 29, this is probably a good time for Sunderland to cash in on the gifted, if erractic, Benin playmaker who has already piqued interest in France and China.
While Mignolet – the Belgium goalkeeper and one player Di Canio intended to keep, until it became clear he has his heart set on joining Liverpool – is expected to finalise his £11m plus move to Anfield in the coming days, Sunderland have already supplemented their first-team squad with three free transfers: the midfielder Cabral from Basel and two defenders, Modibo Diakité and Valentin Roberge who have arrived from Lazio and Maritimo respectively.
Three more young players, David Moberg-Karlsson, Duncan Watmore and El-Hadji Ba have been signed for the development squad as the club's new director of football, Roberto De Fanti, and the new chief scout, Valentino Angeloni, help Di Canio execute his revamp.