Sunderland’s search for a new manager continues, but another player has cast doubts over his future on Wearside.
Left-back Bryan Oviedo has told a Costa Rican TV channel that he will look to stay in the Premier League next season.
The 27-year-old joined the Black Cats from Everton in January alongside Goodison team-mate Darron Gibson, a joint deal thought to be worth £7.5million.
Oviedo was signed to replace Crystal Palace-bound Patrick van Aanholt, but he could only manage 10 Premier League appearances after signing following a hamstring injury picked up in April.
He has said he will be happy to play in the Championship but is looking for a Premier League club.
“I have a contract with Sunderland, it is a great team with very good infrastructure, the only problem was the relegation,” he said.
“If I have to continue in the Championship, it is a great league but I will always look for the option to remain in the Premier League.”
Should Oviedo stay then he will be working for a new manager, but the identity of that man is still unclear.
Sunderland’s search continues with Paul Lambert’s odds dropping, the Scot’s departure from Wolves confirmed yesterday.
He has been at loggerheads with the club’s owners over the role of super agent Jorge Mendes in recruitment at Molineux, and former Porto and Valencia boss Nuno is expected to replace him.
Three members of the former Norwich and Aston Villa manager’s backroom staff have also left the club.
One name that can be ruled out is former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka.
The Spaniard was an early favourite for the role after recently saying he was looking for another job in the UK, with his family still settled in the North East.
However, he is now the overwhelming favourite to take over at Leeds United.
Fellow Spaniard Victor Orta, who was in charge of recruitment during Karanka’s time on Teesside, was yesterday confirmed as the new director of football at Elland Road, following his recent departure from the Riverside.
Derek McInnes, Nigel Clough and Simon Grayson continue to be the favourites for Sunderland’s vacancy, but Preston boss Grayson, like Aberdeen chief McInnes, is thought to be currently away on his post-season break.
He has won plaudits for his building work at Deepdale, culminating in a top-half Championship finish this season on a limited budget.
Sunderland, facing a first season in the second tier since 2006-07, are expected to target experience as they begin what will be a mammoth rebuilding task.