David Moyes says that Sunderland will likely hold on to some of the players out of contract this summer.
The Black Cats are set to lose a number of players when the season ends, with three loanees returning to parent clubs, eight contracts expiring, and a number of those under contract likely to be sold.
Midfielder George Honeyman, whose contract ends next month, will be offered a new deal and manager Moyes has hinted that there may be more.
Sunderland will face a hectic early-season schedule in the Championship, which starts on August 5, and Moyes is eager to ensure that he has a squad in place early that can handle it.
He said: “Before the end of the transfer window in August, we will have something like eight games to play.
“We have to make sure that there is a core there, because we need people who know the club.
“We can’t just let absolutely everyone leave.
“It might be that there are one or two players that we need to keep for a year to help us through, and then we will take it from there.”
Moyes has regularly said that his Sunderland side were not ready for the start of this campaign following the uncertainty over Sam Allardyce’s future and his late arrival in the role.
He is eager to avoid a repeat of that next season, with the pressure on to make a fast start.
Moyes has already been studying a number of sides who have managed to come back up to the Premier League following relegation, and has pointed to sides like Burnley who went through little upheaval in terms of the playing staff and secured an instant top-flight return.
Sunderland are unable to go down that route, so Moyes believes that getting the right players in will be crucial.
Moyes said: “If you look at the teams that have come up, probably the teams that have done best are those that have kept their squads together.
“We’ve actually got a lot of changes to make here – we don’t look as though we have a squad that is bedded down yet.
“We might have another big turnaround of players this summer.
“It could be that we have a minimum of eight or 10 players coming in.
“You have to look at the costings of that, and those are the conversations that we need to have.”
John O’Shea, Seb Larsson and Victor Anichebe are among the players whose contracts end this summer.