After missing out on promotion last season, the Black Cats will be eager to build a squad capable of challenging for a spot in the Championship next time around, but could have a significant rebuild project on their hands if they are to do so.
As always, the teams that have a successful window tend to be the ones who show the greatest amount of savvy in the market, and in League One smart loan signings and clever swoops for free agents can be vital weapons in a side’s transfer policy arsenal.
With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at nine of the most intriguing free agents that Sunderland could realistically aim to sign this summer – so no Sergio Ramos, unfortunately.
Click and scroll through the pages below to see our list of talent that the Black Cats could look to nab for a bargain...
1. Tom Huddlestone
Huddlestone has always been a classy operator, and at 34 he is still on the lookout for a new club. Dropping down to League One could help him to reignite his career in its twilight years. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Photo: Justin Setterfield
2. Ryan Shotton
The former Stoke City defender was last seen playing his football out in Australia, but is back on the market this summer. Versatile with EFL experience to spare, he could still be an asset in the third tier. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
Photo: Ashley Feder
3. Nathan Dyer
A Premier League title winner with Leicester City, let's not forget, it wasn't too long ago that Dyer was aiming for promotion back to the top flight with Swansea City. Even at 33, imagine the damage his blistering pace could do in League One. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)
Photo: Luke Walker
4. Jason Shackell
Shackell has been without a club since leaving Lincoln City last year. Perhaps not the most exciting potential signing, the veteran defender could still bring plenty of experience and know-how to a League One dressing room, even if it is just as a covering option. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Photo: Laurence Griffiths