AHMED Elmohamady beat Kieran Richardson to the Sunderland exit door yesterday after agreeing a reunion with former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce.
And the duo may not be the last to leave the Stadium of Light before tonight’s transfer deadline, with a host of clubs interested in taking Sunderland’s players on loan.
Elmohamady joined Bruce in a season-long loan switch to Hull City yesterday afternoon, although Sunderland will have the option to recall the Egyptian in January if his services are required.
The 24-year-old was always likely to leave the Stadium of Light this summer after growing frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities under O’Neill.
After making 33 top-flight starts during Bruce’s tenure, the Egyptian international was confined to a substitute’s role under O’Neill and has been allowed to depart after the arrival of Adam Johnson.
“Elmo just wants to play some games,” said O’Neill.
West Ham were interested in Elmohamady earlier in the summer, but never followed it up with a concrete offer.
And that opened the door for Bruce to take Elmohamady to the KC Stadium, where the Tigers are now run by Egyptian owners.
Bruce said: “He’s someone I brought over from Egypt and he did ever so well for me.
“He can play at right-back, right midfield, right wing-back, so he gives us plenty of options.
“He’ll be a great signing for us I’m sure and will be an exciting player in the Championship.
“He played 40 odd games in the Premier League and got 40 odd caps for Egypt so he’ll be an excellent addition for us.”
Bruce has also been interested in taking David Meyler on loan, but the central midfielder is not expected to leave today.
There is a chance though that Meyler could follow Elmohamady to Hull when the emergency loan window for Football League clubs opens on September 8.
Connor Wickham is another on the radar of several Championship clubs, while one Premier League outfit are thought to have made an inquiry with Sunderland earlier this week.
O’Neill will consider letting Wickham leave today, although the Sunderland boss is wary of depleting his options and may prefer to let the 19-year-old depart on an emergency loan when the Black Cats would have the option to recall the player after 28 days.
Wickham’s former club Ipswich have been interested, although the striker is not thought to favour a return to Portman Road.
The Tractor Boys have also got another old boy, Titus Bramble, on the radar and have joined SPL side Celtic in looking towards a season-long loan for the 31-year-old.
But with fellow Sunderland centre-half Wes Brown still sidelined, O’Neill will be wary of letting the former Newcastle man depart.
Likewise, Fraizer Campbell is expected to remain at the Stadium of Light – despite interest from Fulham and Blackburn – with O’Neill keen for the England striker to fight for a starting spot.
Meanwhile, former Sunderland loanee Nicklas Bendtner is expected to join Juventus today from Arsenal.