SUNDERLAND have confirmed the release of four players from the club’s Under-21 squad.
Alex Gorrin, Billy Knott, Jordan Laidler and Louis Laing will all leave the Stadium of Light when their Sunderland contracts expire in the summer.
The news comes as no surprise, with the quartet all midway through the process of finding fresh employers.
Laing has been on trial at Manchester United and Blackburn over the last three weeks, with no shortage of admirers in the centre-half.
The 21-year-old’s time training at United came to an end on Friday, with Blackburn still considering handing him a contract at Ewood Park after impressing during a fortnight’s trial with the Championship outfit.
Striker Laidler has also been on trial with Blackburn, although Rovers are not thought to be keen on pursuing the matter any further.
Knott has been on loan with League One outfit Port Vale since January after spending the first half of the season with Wycombe.
The midfielder, who joined Sunderland after being released from Chelsea, could join the Valiants on a permanent deal after making 17 appearances for the club.
But there is plenty of interest in the 21-year-old, who made his one and only first-team appearance for Sunderland on the final day of last season at Tottenham.
Gorrin has already secured employment after penning a two-year deal with New Zealand outfit Wellington Phoenix, who play in Australia’s A League.