It's perhaps not the news Sunderland fans want to hear, but there is a suggestion this morning that three key men are keen to leave the Wearside this summer.
Paddy McNair's exit from the Stadium of Light seems inevitable given the interest in the Northern Ireland international from the likes of Brighton and Wolves, but the prospect that Joel Asoro and George Honeyman are keen to follow him out of the door confirms it'll be a huge summer of rebuilding for new boss Jack Ross.
Asoro is one of the hottest properties in the EFL having enjoyed a breakthrough season last term at Sunderland. The Swedish U21 international made 26 appearances in the Championship and scored three goals.
The 19-year-old has previously been linked with the likes of Arsenal but has also been mooted as a target for other Premier League outfits including Newcastle, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Wolves. Asoro has one year left on his current deal with the Black Cats and appears to have stalled on agreeing a new contract.
As for Honeyman, most had assumed the next incarnation of Sunderland squad would be built around the 23-year-old. An influential figure in midfield, the Prudhoe-born academy graduate has been hailed as a future captain at the Stadium of Light.
Honeyman played 45 games last season and weighed in with seven goals. Former Black Cats boss Chris Coleman was full of praise for his contribution and his exit combined with that of McNair would leave a huge hole in the middle of the park at Sunderland.
All of the above may be at the 'unconfirmed' stage but would fit with previous suggestions that a bulk of the Sunderland squad have no interest in playing in League One next season. With pre-season fixtures being announced, and the transfer window firmly open, there could yet be precious few of the squad from last term taking to the pitch in red-and-white as the summer unfolds.