Cuellar all set to leave Sunderland

Carlos Cuellar
Carlos Cuellar
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SUNDERLAND defender Carlos Cuellar has given a clear indication that he is leaving the Stadium of Light this summer.

Cuellar’s contract expires at the end of next month and after making just five first-team appearances this season, the 32-year-old always looked likely to be released at the end of his deal.

The Spaniard today issued a message on his Instagram social media account, along with a picture of a car and a map of the journey back to his homeland.

“Thanks very much for the last two years it has been a pleasure to be part of this family,” said the former Rangers defender.

Cuellar made 25 appearances during his maiden campaign on Wearside last season after Martin O’Neill signed the centre-half on a Bosman from former club Aston Villa.

But a hip injury, the return to fitness of Wes Brown and the capture of Santiago Vergini have pushed Cuellar down the pecking order this time around and he has appeared just once since November - last month’s 5-1 rout at Tottenham.

Cuellar’s departure will mark another piece of the jigsaw in who stays and who goes among the eight out-of-contract players and five loanees at the Stadium of Light.

Andrea Dossena has already been released at the end of his one-year deal, while Ki Sung-Yueng has returned to his native South Korea for treatment on a knee injury at the end of his loan spell.

And while Sunderland are aiming to keep the likes of Jack Colback, Seb Larsson, Oscar Ustari and Vergini, there will be further departures.

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and midfielder Craig Gardner are both expected to follow Cuellar and Dossena out of the exit door when their contracts expire.