After Sunderland dodged the drop again with one game to spare, this summer certainly promises to be a very busy one in the transfer market if Sam Allardyce has his way.
Allardyce wants to build on the starting foundations he made during January which will hopefully break Sunderland’s cycle fight against relegation, but first decisions have to be made on the players whose contracts or loans have expired.
Some of those Big Sam would like to stay at the club and others he will be only too happy to see go. Here, we take a look at the players who could potentially exit and what the future could hold for them.
Players on loan
Toivonen signed on loan from French side Rennes and actually made a decent start for the club at the beginning of the season, scoring his first goal in the 4-1 League Cup defeat at home to Manchester City.
However, for whatever reason, his performances suddenly declined which saw him dropped from the starting line-up to the bench, where he has been since before Christmas. Even coming on as a sub, he has not made an impact and I don’t see him staying at the club beyond the end of the season.
In my opinion, the French international midfielder has been fabulous for Sunderland during his season-long loan from Rubin Kazan, so it is fantastic that the deal comes with the view to being made permanent.
He expressed an interest to the media about staying at the club, provided the Black Cats beat relegation, which they did. But he will also need to reach an agreement with his team in Russia to terminate his contract, which runs until the December 2016, while reports say a pay cut would have to be taken too.
M’Vila has found his position within the team and has settled in well, helping secure the survival that was sealed with a 3-0 home victory over Everton. Big Sam has already confirmed that both club and player are keen to make the move permanent.
When the American arrived on Wearside on a year-long loan from Tottenham Hotspur, he was an unknown quantity.
He certainly changed people’s views and even mine, as he continued to improve throughout the season and even displaced Billy Jones in the process, who was the first choice right back.
Reports suggest he would like to stay on at Sunderland, but whether he has convinced Allardyce he worth having in the squad is another question.
A second loan spell maybe an option, but I don’t think he will stay at the club and quite possible Jones may go as well.
Since joining on loan from Trabzonspor in January until the end of the season, N'Doye has really struggled to make any sort of impact on the team and I think is highly likely he will make an exit, even though he scored his first goal with a deflected shot in the 2-2 draw Crystal Palace in March.
Players out of contract
I think he is another one packing his bags and heading for the exit, with the writing on the wall when he left for Marseille on loan in January. The Black Cats will be facing a £12m loss on the player who joined from Wolverhampton Wanderers, but it will be an advantage for the Lads to get such a big earner off the books.
Allardyce has found a system that works with trio Fabio Borini, Jermain Defoe and Wahbi Khazri that produces goals, which are what Sunderland need. With this, I honestly don’t see how the Scotland international fits into the squad.
Brown was out of contract this time last season, in which he signed a one-year extension for the Lads as a back-up defender, and he wasn’t awful in the handful of appearances he did make this season.
He turns 37-years-old later this year, so surely he won’t be offered another contract unless it’s on another backup basis. If he does want to player regularly though, he definitely won’t get that by staying on Wearside.
Signing a short-term deal in January as a third choice keeper, Allardyce had me confused with this signing. A 41-year-old backup keeper. There wasn't much point in the move. The former Newcastle United man will never make any first team appearances, and he hasn't, but he will have known that when he signed that contract.
He is highly unlikely to extend his stay, regardless of what experience and benefits he offers off the pitch.
This short-term deal was effectively cut short when the former Arsenal defender owed money to his former agent, which then forced FIFA to imposed a 12-month ban. Sunderland announced they will rip up the contract with him, with him having failed to sort out the problem.
Currently on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf until the end of the season, he was brought into the club by Roberto De Fanti.
I can not see him returning to Wearside after only making seven appearances for Sunderland, with it difficult to see how he fits into the club. As well as this, he wasn’t that great when he did pull on the red and white shirt either.
Like Mavrias, there is absolutely no way Roberge will get another chance of playing at Sunderland, never mind another new deal. He was another of the obscure signings brought in by De Fanti and, like most of those he selected to recruit in his short lived Director of Football role, he turned out to be a total flop.
He managed 13 appearances for the Black Cats, but was pushed out on loan to Reims.
Allardyce has his work cut out for him sorting out and dropping the deadwood such as Danny Graham, Liam Bridcutt and Emanuele Giaccherini that will still be in contract, but a lot of deadwood will at least leave for free.
Still, only time will tell us who will go this summer and who will sign a new deal for the club.