And Sunderland have much work to do following the club’s retained list.
Denver Hume and Luke O’Nien are weighing up contract offers whilst loanee Dion Sanderson has returned to Wolves.
It was announced that Max Power, Grant Leadbitter, Josh Scowen amongst others were set to leave the Stadium of Light.
That means Sunderland will likely look to strengthen in midfield.
Here, we take a look at the free agent options available to Lee Johnson.
5. Carlos Sanchez
At 35, Carlos Sanchez's best days are likely behind him having been released from Watford. Could Sunderland tempt him on a short-term deal?
Photo: Julian Finney
6. Jordan Cousins
The 27-year-old former England youth international is now available on a free transfer having left Stoke City.
Photo: Clive Brunskill
7. Corry Evans
The 30-year-old Northern Ireland international can play in defence and midfield but has just left Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers.
Photo: PAUL FAITH
8. Liam Walsh
Former Coventry City favourite Liam Walsh was released by Bristol City recently and is now available on a free transfer this summer.
Photo: Alex Davidson