Adam Matthews is still a transfer target for Bristol City, as Sunderland look to continue offloading the deadwood after Emanuele Giaccherini's exit.
Flop £2million signing Matthews has been training with Sunderland's Under-21 squad at the Academy of Light over the last two weeks, with the right-back left out of the Black Cats' pre-season trip to Austria, along with unwanted quartet Liam Bridcutt, Will Buckley, Jordi Gomez and Charis Mavrias.
Matthews - who has made just two first-team appearances for Sunderland since his arrival from Celtic 12 months ago - has no future with the Black Cats after spending the end of last season on loan at Bristol City.
The Championship outfit had made noises about keeping Matthews after impressing during his nine appearances for the Robins, yet he resumed training with Sunderland a fortnight ago.
However, Bristol City are keen to re-sign the 24-year-old, with Sunderland not standing in their way as they look further lighten the wage bill of those considered surplus to requirements.
Midfielder Giaccherini completed his £2million move to Italian side Napoli on Saturday after a summer where his future has been the source of constant speculation in his homeland.
Sunderland were always ready to let the 31-year-old leave the club after he had spent last season on loan at Bologna and only had 12 months remaining on a £40,000 a week contract at the Stadium of Light.
But it was Napoli who eventually beat off competition from Torino and Bologna to land Giaccherini on a three-year deal.
Sunderland are also quietly confident that they will be able to offload fellow midfielder Gomez, with Blackburn, Wigan and Espanyol all linked to the Spaniard.
And while Buckley and Bridcutt - who both have 12 months remaining on their Sunderland contracts - may prove to be more problematic, there is interest from Leeds United in re-signing the latter.