Sunderland outgoings close as Black Cats look to clear the way for recruitment drive

Wahbi Khazri
Wahbi Khazri

Sunderland are hoping for a financial boost in the coming days as Wahbi Khazri moves ever closer to an exit.

The Black Cats are keen to boost their squad further, with strikers and a central defender the priority, but want to move on some of their higher earners first.

The closest to sealing their departure is Khazri, who has had a number of suitors throughout the summer.

Stade Rennais, where the 27-year-old excelled on loan last season, have made a renewed push for the Tunisian’s signature, with coach Sabri Lamouchi saying this week that a decision was close.

Lamouchi said: “I know the president and the club have not stopped trying to convince Wahbi.

“As far as I know, he has not signed somewhere yet and has not told us no. 

“Unfortunately, we are not the only ones.”

President Oliver Letang added: “We are waiting for an answer.

“It should be decided this week, one way or the other.”

However, fellow Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne are the closest to striking a deal with Sunderland, who are determined to secure full value for a player whose stock is high following a successful season and World Cup campaign.

Midfielder Didier Ndong is another player eager to depart Wearside and, while his exit is not as close as Khazri’s, there is hope that a deal can be struck.

There has been interest from Italy, with Atalanta one club keen for discussions. The Serie A outfit have been monitoring Ndong since selling combative midfielder Bryan Cristante to Roma.

Sales will clear the path for Jack Ross to add to his six summer signings, with his forward line the obvious priority.

Preston North End’s ex-Hibs striker Eoin Doyle has been linked and, while his goalscoring record at Legue One level has an obvious appeal, he is not, at this stage, a leading target for the Black Cats.