Sunderland announced their retained list earlier today ahead of their upcoming season in the Championship - and captain John O'Shea as well as fellow long-time Black Cats midfielder Sebastian Larsson are missing from the list, although they have reportedly been offered new contracts.
O'Shea wishes to stay on Wearside - if he's in the first-team picture
Whether the two will remain on Wearside remains to be seen, although The Irish Times reported last week that a source close to O'Shea said the Irishman "wants to remain with Sunderland but only if he’s going to play" with offers reportedly on the table from four other Championship clubs including Wolves.
The source also hinted that O'Shea may have to leave if Sunderland's new manager does not see him as a first-team regular, as "his Irish place is dependent on him being active at club level."
Larsson is also among the players absent from the retained list and it remains to be seen whether he will remain on Wearside next season.
His agent Per Jonsson told Fotbolldirekt.se last week that the 31-year-old "is very excited to stay in England" although his future may not necessarily lie in the North-East.
Several players due to be released
The retained list does not mention Steven Pienaar, Victor Anichebe, Jan Kirchhoff, Joleon Lescott or Will Buckley which signals that the five have played their final games in the red and white of Sunderland.
Sebastian Coates is on the retained list although the club's official website stated that the Uruguayan will formally complete his permanent transfer to Liga NOS side Sporting Lisbon on July 1.
Striker Jermain Defoe is another player mentioned on the list who is expected to leave the club in the coming weeks, with a deal seeing the 34-year-old move to Bournemouth on a free transfer due to a relegation clause in his contract due to go through following the international break.