And with the transfer window now officially open, speculation is rife as to who the Black Cats could sign during the window.
Indeed, Sunderland will likely look to strengthen in attacking areas if Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke reject their offers to stay on Wearside beyond the summer.
Here, we take a look at the free agent options available to Lee Johnson during the window as Sunderland target promotion next campaign.
5. Kazenga LuaLua
Former Sunderland attacker Kazenga LuaLua is now a free agent this summer after leaving Luton Town. The 30-year-old didn't pull up ant trees at the Stadium of Light but could do a job in League One.
Photo: David Rogers
6. Junior Hoilett
Junior Hoilett (left of the picture) is available for nothing in the summer window having departed Cardiff City. However, the 31-year-old attacker has played most of his football between the Championship and Premier League and is unlikely to drop down to League One at this stage in his career.
Photo: Stu Forster
7. Marvin Johnson
The 30-year-old attacker has just been released from Sunderland's North East rivals Middlesbrough and is available on a free transfer. There will likely be Championship interest in him, however.
Photo: George Wood
8. Louis Moult
The 29-year-old striker has just been released from Preston North End and has been linked with a host of League One clubs.
Photo: Stephen Pond