One of Martin Bain’s first tasks as chief executive will be to help Sam Allardyce shift Sunderland’s remaining dead-wood as quickly as possible.
Bain faces a busy summer when he arrives on Wearside after his appointment was confirmed over the weekend.
Allardyce was able to free up much-needed wages during the course of the season when he offloaded several players deemed surplus to requirements.
But while Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham are both out of contract, and Sebastian Coates has already agreed another season-long loan at Sporting Lisbon, there are several unwanted players due to return.
Santiago Vergini, Jordi Gomez, Charis Mavrias, Adam Matthews, Will Buckley and Liam Bridcutt, plus Euro 2016-bound Emmanuele Giaccherini, are due back, with none thought to have a future at the club.
Collectively, they are on a hefty wage total, which Allardyce will need to reduce again for Sunderland to make all the necessary additions.
Allardyce told the Echo: “We’ll address the situation as part of the big summer turnaround.
“We’ll try to do it as quickly as we possibly can.
“They have been out on loan and we’ll try to get them back out on loan again at the earliest opportunity, if we can’t move them on permanently.”
Giaccherini looks the most straightforward exit, with loan employers Bologna one of several Serie A clubs interested in a permanent deal.
Spanish club Getafe had the option to convert Vergini’s loan into a permanent deal, but they were relegated from La Liga and the Argentine international is due back at Sunderland.
Meanwhile, midfielder Gomez has impressed since joining Blackburn, but the Championship outfit are without a manager and it could be a similar situation for Bridcutt at Leeds, with boss Steve Evans on the brink.
However, former Celtic right-back Matthews does look as if he could remain with Bristol City after impressing.
Bain is currently chief executive at Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, with the 47-year-old taking up his new role at Sunderland on July 1.
“It is a great honour and privilege to become CEO at a club with Sunderland’s rich history and heritage,” said Bain, a former Rangers chief executive.
“I have been fortunate to be a part of a team that has brought great success to two clubs with passionate supporter bases and I am excited by the opportunity to do the same at Sunderland.
“Sunderland fans are recognised as some of the most loyal and passionate in football.
“Such tremendous support deserves a successful club and that is what we will aim to give them.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the chairman and everyone involved with the club, and will endeavour to do everything possible to help the club to realise its potential.”
During his tenure in Scotland, Rangers won three consecutive league titles and reached the final of the UEFA Cup.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv secured a domestic treble in 2015 and Champions League qualification, with Bain praised for improving the club’s finances.
He replaces Margaret Byrne who resigned in the wake of the Adam Johnson scandal.
Owner Ellis Short said: “Martin will strive to transform our financial performances, which we acknowledge must improve significantly, into a stable and successful model, to give us a club that we and our fans can be proud of.
“In doing so, he will receive the full support of everyone at Sunderland AFC.”
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