Lamine Kone set for Sunderland exit as Stewart Donald reveals transfer latest
Wantaway Lamine Kone is close to the Sunderland exit door, with the defender set to join Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg on loan.
The 29-year-old centre back had made it clear he saw his future away from Wearside and he is due in Strasbourg for a medical on Wednesday.
Kone, who has been training away from the first team since returning to pre-season, is set to leave on a season-long loan deal, with the move likely to be made permanent at the end of the loan deal.
Getting his wages off the bill will be a huge financial boost to Sunderland.
Owner Stewart Donald says the club is close to moving on those high-earners who have expressed a desire to leave.
Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji didn't return to pre-season training and haven't been paid by Sunderland as a result.
Bryan Oviedo is back training but is expected to leave this summer.
When asked about wantaway players, Donald told BBC Radio 5 Live: "There are some players that don't want to be there, it is trying to get those players out on the right basis for the football club.
"To be fair, there is a desire for them all to leave from themselves and there are clubs that are interested in them.
"I think they had a view that they would just be able to leave because it is League One but some of those players have a value and to be fair to Sunderland, we need to try and realise that value.
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"We are almost there with that, it has been a big job over the summer."
When pressed on how close the club is to getting rid of the high earners, Donald added: "Well, it has been reported in France that Kone is going over to France to meet Strasbourg on Wednesday.
"Basically, there are three or four we need to deal with and I would be surprised if come the window, not the loan window, but the transfer window, I would be surprised if there was more than one of those left.
"I think we are very close on them now."
Donald also highlighted the importance of shifting the highest earners from the Sunderland payroll this summer.
Wahbi Khazri has already gone, while Paddy McNair joined neighbours Middlesbrough, with Kone and more set to follow.
Donald added: "We are okay [now] to be fair. If we'd ended up with all of the players we inherited we would have found that extremely tough, the playing budget would have been £24m without any signings.
"For League One that is not sustainable, with parachute payments or not, you just can't function that way.
"£24m before you sign a player is just too much but the work we have already done and the work that will happen over the next seven to 10 days we will be much, much more healthy."