Sunderland boss Jack Ross has no interest in involving Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong in his first team squad - despite the pair planning on returning to Wearside.
Having failed to secure moves away from Sunderland last week, Djilobodji and Ndong are now considering their options ahead of a potential return to the Academy of Light.
Reports from Gabon have suggested that Ndong has left the country and is set for a return to the North East, while Djilobodji is expected at the club today.
But despite the pair returning to training, Ross fails to see them having a future within his first team squad, and is adamant that they will be dealt with when they return - although such actions will be taken by those higher up the club.
“They may do [return] and if they do we’ll deal with them accordingly when they come in,” he said.
“I haven’t had any interest in them because they’ve never turned up and haven’t been part of what I’ve tried to build here. I don’t ever envisage them being part of that.
“However, that situation becomes more complicated if they come back in and it probably starts to extend beyond my remit as a manager but we’ll deal with that as and when.
"There’s still several overseas windows at the moment that allows the to ... I wouldn’t say escape, that’s not the right word, but to find a resolution.”
The return of the duo could threaten to overshadow Sunderland's positive start to the season, which has seen the Black Cats remain unbeaten through their early League One outings.
But Ross doesn't believe that their return will have any effect on the 'strong' team spirit being fostered in Sunderland's dressing room.
“I don’t think they would disrupt what’s in there now [team spirit],” he added.
"I think what’s in there now is strong enough in its numbers and the mood of the group that I wouldn’t be concerned that way. It’s just peculiar circumstances to get your head around.
“I’d probably have to separate myself because I’ve been a footballer, then a manager, and I genuinely love the game. That bothers me to an extent [that people don’t want to play].
“Then I have to look at my role here and how I deal with it in terms of having those problems because they could come back. I would never consider it to be an issue.
"We’re strong enough as a group to not be derailed."