Jack Ross admits it would be best all round if a solution can be found over wantaway duo Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji before the end of the month.
The AWOL pair both want to leave Sunderland AFC this summer and are not being paid having failed to report back for training since the summer.
Ross admits the situation is “not healthy” and says “it’s disappointing when it comes to that with professional players conducting themselves in that manner”.
There is interest in Ndong from La Liga and Ligue 1, while reports in Germany claim there is Bundesliga interest in Djilobodji from Hannover 96 and Borussia Monchengladbach.
When asked what happens with Djilobodji and Ndong if they don’t find new clubs, Ross said: “Again, from a contractual and legal aspect, I’m not entirely sure.
“I don’t think the club is under any obligation to pay them as far as I’m aware, because obviously they’ve failed to report for work.
“It’s not a healthy situation and I don’t think it’s ideal; it’s disappointing when it comes to that with professional players conducting themselves in that manner.
“For me, certainly from a football perspective and a management aspect, it’s been okay.
“Selfishly for me, it’s been okay because they’ve never been here. I’ve never really had to worry about it.
“I do feel for Stewart [Donald] and the board in that sense, because they have to carry that burden and then try and find a solution.
“I think Tony Coton and Richard Hill have worked incredibly hard at trying to do that.
“I think for everybody concerned it would be better if there was a solution found before the end of the window,” he added at his pre-match press conference.