Sunderland offer new deals to this trio as FIVE are released

Duncan Watmore is one of five Sunderland players who will be released when their contracts expire at the end of this month.

Jack Baldwin, Alim Ozturk, Joel Lynch and academy graduate Ethan Robson will also depart.

As part of their retained list, Sunderland have also confirmed that they wish to secure new contracts for Jon McLaughlin, Chris Maguire and Tom Flanagan.

They will remain at the club if a new agreement can be reached.

McLaughlin has interest from a number of clubs following two seasons at the Stadium of Light, including Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

With negotiations having previously failed to bring about a positive resolution, there are major doubts over the 32-year-old's future on Wearside.

Baldwin departs after a loan spell at Salford City, while both Ozturk and Lynch were regulars at one stage during the current campaign.

Ozturk will leave having made 45 appearances in all competitions across two seasons, while Lynch made 21 appearances in the current campaign.

Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore.

Ethan Robson was recalled from a hugely successful loan spell at Grimsby Town in January as injury cover, but has not made an appearance under Phil Parkinson.

Having been at the club for the entirety of his career to date, he leaves having made nine senior appearances for his boyhood club.

Watmore made 22 appearances this season as he continues his long-term recovery from two major ACL injuries.

The 26-year-old was the last player at the club on a contract signed in the Premier League era, albeit one heavily reduced as a result of the club's consecutive relegations.

He scored eight goals during his seven-year association with the Black Cats.

The retained list underlines the scale of the rebuilding challenge ahead for Sunderland this summer.

Not including the three players offered new deals, there are currently just 13 senior players contracted to the club for next season.

One of those, Aiden McGeady, is highly likely to leave.

January signing Josh Scowen will remain at the club after the clause in his 18-month deal which allowed Championship clubs to swoop in the event that Sunderland were not promoted expired.

Sunderland are likely to monitor the availability of Bailey Wright, who will officially leave Bristol City at the end of this month.

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