It is expected that Sunderland will enter lengthy negotiations for the permanent transfer of Yann M'Vila, who has returned to Russia.
M'Vila impressed many during his loan spell at the Stadium of Light, making 37 appearances in all competitions.
It has been made clear by both M'Vila and Sam Allardyce that they would like a return for the Frenchman.
However the 25-year-old has returned to parent club, Rubin Kazan, for the start of pre-season. There was some issues for M'Vila, as visa issues held up his return.
The Frenchman only has six months left on his current deal at Kazan, and both player and Sunderland were hoping for a early termination.
However, that is proving a sticking point, with Kazan looking to change the asking price in the permanent deal clause in his loan agreement, and talks could take around several weeks.
It seems that M'Vila will be at Kazan for the moment, with new Kazan manager, Javi Garcia, insisting that they report for pre-season training.
Staying up north
M'Vila has become a firm favourite, amongst the Black Cats faithful, and back in February, made it clear he would like to stay on a permanent basis.
He told the Sunderland Echo that it was "important" for him to sort out issues with Kazan but has always indicated that he wanted to "play in the Premier League."
He continued, saying that he wanted to play in the "Premier League with Sunderland" and said that he was hoping for them to make "an offer" to "continue the adventure."
On his current situation with Kazan, M'Vila that he didn't really "want go back" and the club didn't want him back so were looking terminate his contract, to allow to be in a "better position" to discuss "future offers."
Sunderland AFC will take on Hartlepool United at Victoria Park, on Wednesday, July 20 with kick-off at 7:30pm BST.