8 players Sunderland could sell or release ahead of a busy summer transfer window

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Sunderland are gearing up for a busier summer than most as the end of the season beckons.

The Black Cats are battling away to secure automatic promotion to the Championship but with several weeks left of the season we’re likely to see many twists and turns along the way.

If Lee Johnson’s side miss out on the top two then thankfully they’re well-placed to qualify for the play-offs which will give them another bite of the cherry.

But if they fail to go up this season then they could face a pivotal summer.

Johnson’s squad have a large number of key players who are out of contract at the end of the season and that means that we could plausibly see wholesale changes in the playing squad at the Stadium Of Light this summer.

With that in mind here are eight players who could be sold or released at the end of the season.

The striker is arguably Sunderland’s hottest property going into the summer months.

Wyke moved to the Stadium Of Light three years ago and endured two mixed campaigns for the Black Cats with many holding no particularly strong opinions on the player.

This season has certainly changed the perception of most.

The 28-year-old has scored 27 goals already this term leading to reported interest from Middlesbrough and CSKA Moscow.

With the striker out of contract this summer it remains to be seen whether he’ll stick around, but if the club miss out on promotion there’s a decent chance that a bigger club could come knocking.

What a turnaround it’s been for Aiden McGeady this season.

The winger was exiled from the Sunderland squad by previous boss Phil Parkinson which suggested that the player would merely be waiting out his contract before moving on this summer.

But this season things have changed drastically under Lee Johnson.

McGeady has scored six times and created an impressive 15 goals for the Wearsiders this term as they look to challenge for promotion.

The club’s highest-earner, a new deal will likely depend on finances as the club look to tie down the 35-year-old to an extended deal.

The midfielder is undoubtedly a club favourite after coming through the youth ranks with the club.

Despite playing for Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough, Leadbitter is back and determined to guide his boyhood club to promotion from League One.

The 35-year-old had been a regular feature in Lee Johnson’s squad this term but with his contract due to expire this summer it means that he could face an uncertain future.

Leadbitter is likely to be keen to stick around at the club next term regardless of what league Sunderland are and so it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for him.

A player who is hugely popular at the Stadium Of Light.

Luke O’Nien joined the club in 2018 as the club suffered relegation to League One and has since established himself as a vital first team player.

The 26-year-old has been a valued member of Lee Johnson’s plans this term, having played in a variety of different positions throughout the team.

There’s no doubt that Sunderland will be keen to extend the deal of such a popular player, but much will depend on how the promotion race pans out and any potential interest that materialises between now and the summer.

This could be a really interesting one for supporters to watch out for.

Maguire moved to the Stadium Of Light in 2018 and has established himself as an integral player during his three years at the club after racking up over 50 goal involvements in 120 appearances.

However things have gone a little bit sour of late.

The winger has fallen out of favour under Lee Johnson in recent months and that has cast doubt over his future at the club.

While no one can predict the future it does seem unlikely that he’ll be offered a new deal based on his involvement for the Black Cats during the last few weeks.

Another really interesting situation to watch out for.

Lee Burge has been challenging Remi Matthews for his place in the team all season but has managed to establish himself as Lee Johnson’s first choice since the turn of the year.

While the goalkeeper has been a regular in the team there have been question marks over his performances with some notable errors creeping into his game in recent weeks.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Burge offered a new contract with the club, but Johnson may well look to bring in another goalkeeper as well as he looks to ensure that his team as a strong, reliable presence between the sticks next term.

A player who Sunderland fans would love to stick around.

Denver Hume is a player who is still incredibly raw, but supporters have enjoyed watching him as he tries to establish himself at first team level.

Injuries have disrupted his campaign this term but the 21-year-old is certainly a popular figure with Lee Johnson who has never hesitated to throw himself into the side during the promotion race.

The 21-year-old is out of contract this summer and while his future is not certain, it would probably be a surprise to see the player move on.

After all, supporters have only seen the start of what he has to offer the club.

The midfielder is a vital part of Sunderland’s plans.

Max Power joined the club from Wigan Athletic in 2019 and has established himself as a crucial cog in the club’s midfield since then.

The 27-year-old was even handed the club captaincy this season which shows just how highly he’s rated by current manager Lee Johnson.

Power may be out of contract this summer but again, it would be a big surprise to see the midfielder move on.

Whatever division the club find themselves in, Power could be a big player for Johnson’s side as they look to fulfill their objectives over the coming years.

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