With several players either out of contract or set to be sold to help finance a Championship rebuild, the Sunderland squad is set to be overhauled.
Sunderland’s fate was sealed with the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth, but planning for next season has been underway for some time.
With the bleak financial picture facing the club, clearly Sunderland won’t be awash with cash, but David Moyes and his team of scouts have been keeping close tabs on several players in the second tier ahead of the summer rebuild.
We take a look at which players could have a big impact on Wearside next season and help Sunderland bounce back at the first attempt.
John Ruddy (Norwich City, set to be free agent):
With Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone likely to depart, Sunderland will need to revamp their goalkeeping options.
Mika signed a two-year deal last summer, but hasn’t started a first team game.
Youngster Max Stryjek is winning rave reviews for the Under-23s, but an experienced stopper will be needed in the Championship.
Sunderland could do worse than consider a move for soon-to-be free agent Ruddy – linked last summer – who is leaving Norwich this summer.
Marc Roberts (Barnsley):
Barnsley’s centre half stands at 6ft 4ins tall and has been an influential part of the Tykes’ back four this season.
Barnsley value 26-year-old Roberts – who has scored four goals in 43 appearances this season – at £5million.
The Tykes sold Roberts’ former defensive partner Alfie Mawson – a former Sunderland target – to Swansea City in the summer.
Aden Flint (Bristol City):
With Lamine Kone expected to depart, loanee Jason Denayer going back to Manchester City and Joleon Lescott leaving when his deal expires, Sunderland will need new centre-backs.
Imposing Flint has long-been admired on Wearside
The 27-year-old, linked with Aston Villa, stands at 6ft 6ins and has scored 28 goals for Bristol City over the past four seasons.
Jason Cummings (Hibernian):
Scouted by Moyes, the forward has scored 23 goals in 39 appearances.
He is understood to be valued at £2million and given he is only 21 and has bags of potential, Cummings would be an exciting prospect for Sunderland.
Sam Gallagher (Southampton):
The Saints striker could be available on loan next season after impressing with relegated Blackburn Rovers this season – the 21-year-old striker scoring 12 goals.
Standing at 6ft 4inches, he would add a physical presence.
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea):
The 19-year-old has been simply brilliant in the Championship this season and could be available on loan to gain more valuable first team experience, but Sunderland would face fierce competition to land his signature.
In total, the Chelsea loanee has scored 26 goals this campaign. An outside bet given the high level of interest in the promising striker.
Jordan Hugill (Preston North End):
The former Hartlepool United loanee has been in impressive form for Preston, netting 13 goals in 47 appearances.
The 24-year-old is from Middlesbrough and may favour a move back to the North East.
Sunderland will need a new striker to lead the line and Hugill has impressed in the Championship this season.