Sunderland jet out to Portugal but skipper George Honeyman remains on Wearside
The Sunderland squad jetted out to Portugal this morning but skipper George Honeyman was not part of the touring party.
The midfielder was a surprise omission from the 25-man squad announced by the club.
There has been no official confirmation yet from the Black Cats as to why Honeyman has not travelled but it is understood he didn’t jet out with the team having picked up an injury and has remained in the North East for treatment.
His absence from the squad sparked rumours he could be set to leave the Stadium of Light this summer.
Jack Ross - who spoke highly of Honeyman as captain last week - has a large squad at his disposal, especially in central midfield, and the club is operating a one in, one out transfer policy at the moment.
Ross does have a firm interest in Walsall midfielder George Dobson, the Black Cats had a bid rejected earlier this month and are yet to go back in.
Ross’ squad will play two friendly games in Portugal, the first against Benfica B at 7.30pm on Thursday.
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The second game takes place on Saturday against Belenenses, again a 7.30pm kick-off.
Our Sunderland AFC writer Phil Smith is covering the training camp bringing you the latest transfer news plus his insight and in-depth opinion.
New signings Jordan Willis, Lee Burge and Conor McLaughlin form part of the squad.
Both games will be played at the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira, with tickets available on the gate priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Sunderland travelling squad: Jon McLaughlin, Grant Leadbitter, Aiden McGeady, Glenn Loovens, Alim Ozturk, Duncan Watmore, Dylan McGeouch, Chris Maguire, Luke O’Nien, Ethan Robson, Conor McLaughlin, Will Grigg, Lee Burge, Jordan Willis, Jack Baldwin, Tom Flanagan, Max Power, Charlie Wyke, Lynden Gooch, Benji Kimpioka, Anthony Patterson, Elliot Embleton, Denver Hume, Ruben Sammut, Jack Diamond.