Sam Allardyce expects loanees DeAndre Yedlin and Ola Toivonen to still be at Sunderland after the transfer deadline, despite their minimal involvement in recent weeks.
Both right-back Yedlin and midfielder Toivonen featured in this week’s behind-close-doors friendly thrashing over Newcastle, to give them an opportunity to boost their match sharpness.
Neither player has started a Premier League game since last month, with Toivonen not even on the bench for the last three games.
Sunderland are understood to have explored the possibility of terminating the season-long loans of both Tottenham’s Yedlin and Rennes’ Toivonen at the midway point.
But Allardyce says the pair will remain at Sunderland after Monday’s 11pm deadline, even if they are limited to a back-up role.
Allardyce said: “I don’t think there’s any leverage (to end the loans early).
“Their deals are for one season. We need a squad and players who might have to play.
“If we got rid of DeAndre, for example, we’d need a new right-back, which might not be a wise thing to do at this stage.
“We’ve had to shop very carefully in this window, both with who we get out and who we bring in.”
Sunderland have been pro-active in offloading players this month, with Sebastian Coates, Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Danny Graham and Costel Pantilimon all leaving the club.
And there could still be further departures, with Allardyce reiterating that midfielder Jordi Gomez is free to leave the club.
“Jordi Gomez is someone we would let go,” said Allardyce.
“He hasn’t played as much as he would like and would like more first-team football.
“That’s not here, it might be somewhere else.”
Winger Buckley joined Birmingham City on an initial month-long loan a fortnight ago after failing to feature for Sunderland’s first-team all season.
And after opening his account for the Championship outfit last weekend, Buckley has now extended his loan spell until the summer.