The bargain basement may not be the first choice of Premier League clubs this summer with the bumper new television deal set to swell the coffers of top flight clubs.
The new deal will see income rocket and the enhanced package will be worth at least £100m for the team finishing bottom.
Clubs will be looking to splash the cash but there are plenty of bargains to be had when it comes to experienced campaigners available on free transfers.
We take a look at those players set to become free agents when their contracts expire, to see if any would strengthen Sunderland.
Mathieu Flamini, 32, still has a lot to offer after spells with Arsenal, Marseille and AC Milan but Sunderland are well-stocked in the holding midfield role. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Mikel Arteta has revealed he is now “99 per cent” retired as a player and is set for a coaching role, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City all linked.
Tomás Rosicky is injury prone and 35 so don’t expect Big Sam to make a move for the Czech Republic international.
Former Black Cat Kieran Richardson and Charles N’Zogbia have been regularly linked with a move to Sunderland in recent transfer windows but neither will be on Wearside come July.
Sunderland are well-stocked for goalkeepers so Artur Boruc won’t be heading North, while neither defender Sylvain Distin or Stéphane Zubar (defender) are likely to court much interest.
Marco Amelia: With Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford battling it out for the number one spot, there is little scope for a third option.
The FA Cup runners-up look set for a major summer overhaul with Emanuel Adebayor, Adrian Mariappa (defender), Damien Delaney (defender), Marouane Chamakh (striker), Brede Hangeland (defender), Julian Speroni (goalkeeper)
and Paddy McCarthy (midfielder) all out of contract. Of that list, only Adebayor is likely to interest Allardyce and he comes with a questionable attitude and even bigger wage packet.
Darron Gibson’s career has stuttered since breaking through at Manchester United, the midfielder would be the only possible with Tony Hibbert, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman all well into their 30’s.
Mark Schwarzer and Marcin Wasilewski’s best years are well passed them but they are both Premier League winners. Allardyce’s transfer business is set to be concentrated on the Continent.
Out of contract Jose Enrique and Kolo Touré have a wealth of top flight experience. Allardyce is in the market for a new full-back, Enrique, 30, could fit the bill if he can improve his fitness and form. Allardyce knows the Spanish left-back well, having signed him when he was Newcastle United boss.
Richard Wright, who has not appeared in a competitive match since 2011, is now retired while Martín Demichelis is now 35 and his erratic form would be a concern.
Michael Carrick would be a superb signing but he looks set for a new one-year deal, while left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has broken through this season and is likely to court interest. Would be a great Sunderland signing though.
Chances of Sunderland signing a Newcastle United player this summer? Nil. Allardyce won’t be rushing to sign Steven Taylor, French flops Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan or defender Kevin Mbabu.
Norwich trio Alex Tettey (midfielder), Steven Whittaker (right-back) and midfielder Gary O’Neil would be steady yet uninspiring signings, while former Cats keeper Kelvin Davis won’t be returning when he is released by Southampton, while at Swansea City, neither Leon Britton or young forward Alex Samuel are likely to interest Allardyce.
Elsewhere, Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll has made 30 appearances for Spurs this term and will command interest from elsewhere if he doesn’t sign a new deal while Watford centre-back Joel Ekstrand hasn’t featured this season.
In-demand midfielder James Morrison is wanted by several teams, including Sunderland, despite missing the second half of the season through injury.. His teammate Stephane Sessegnon is unlikely to return while Sunderland can do far better than released striker Victor Anichebe.
Right-back Joey O’Brien has long been linked with a reunion with Allardyce. If Sunderland sell Billy Jones and Adam Matthews, then steady O’Brien could provide competition for DeAndre Yedlin should he return.