Vito Mannone is not part of Sunderland's squad for the trip to Hartlepool United, with a move to Reading seemingly imminent.
Mannone, who has one year left on his current deal, has been linked with a return to Italy but last season's defeated play-off finalists have emerged as surprise favourites for his signature.
Max Stryjek is in goal for the Black Cats, with Mika on the bench.
Mannone has been a regular in Simon Grayson's side during the pre-season programme but the Sunderland boss had warned that some players would unexpectedly depart. Reading are thought to have offered a fee in the region of £2 million, while a medical could take place as soon as tomorrow.
Jeremain Lens and Wahbi Khazri have also dropped to the bench after the 3-0 defeat to St Johnstone.
Sunderland XI: Stryjek; Jones, Browning, Kone, Matthews; Cattermole, Gibson, Honeyman, Maja, Asoro, Vaughan
Subs: Mika, Love, Djilobodji, O'Shea, Khazri, Lens, Ndong