Jack Rodwell will not suffer a drop in wages as a result of Sunderland's relegation.
The vast majority of Sunderland's squad will take a 40% cut automatically, but Rodwell, who signed for the club in 2014, will not.
Rodwell was the club's marquee signing that summer, arriving from Manchester City on the brink of the England squad.
His time on Wearside has been plagued by injury, making 63 league appearances since his arrival.
Sunderland face a major task to bring their wage bill under control, responsibly for almost 78% of their turnover in the 2015/16 season.
Black Cats boss has admitted that it is one of his key challenges over the summer.
He said: "The wage bill is big, and it will be a problem next year too because it will affect what we are able to do.
“But what we need is players who are robust.
“If we are going to play 45-50 games next year, you need players who are able to play the majority of those.
“You need players who give you value for money by playing Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday nearly every week,” he added.
“Getting the wage bill down is something that will happen because most have that in their contract anyway.
"But it will still mean that our wage bill is high for the division, so that will need to be kept down as well.”