Sunderland’s new boss Jack Ross has been trimming the squad and offloading a number of players on large contracts this summer after the Black Cats suffered their second relegation in as many seasons.
After selling midfielder Paddy McNair to Middlesbrough for £5m, the club also confirmed that Jack Rodwell’s contract (rumoured to be worth over £40,000 a week) had been cancelled.
Scotsman Ross has already begun to make his own additions ahead of their League 1 campaign next year, with the signings of winger Chris Maguire, centre-back Alim Öztürk and former Hearts keeper Jon McLaughlin.
However, one player yet to depart the Stadium of Light is Tunisia playmaker Wahbi Khazri.
Valued at €10m by Transfermarkt, Khazri has been in impressive form at the World Cup this summer, with one goal and one assist from his side’s first two group games, although his efforts have not been enough to keep Tunisia from being knocked out in the group stages with one game still to play.
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Having played in Ligue 1 last season on loan at Stade Rennais, it seems as though the 27-year-old is set to return to the country of his birth. L’Equipe have reported that Khazri has an agreement in principle to join Saint-Étienne that will be signed and completed after Tunisia’s final World Cup game against Panama.
Here’s what some Sunderland fans had to say about Khazri’s impending departure…
Yes, as soon as I see that I'm immediately suspicious! Agents suiting for more and more money, just take the deal so he can jog on!
— E-Sunderland (@e_sunderland) June 28, 2018
Hopefully if Khazri goes it will spur Kones agent into action
— topcat404 (@Stefano_Uvavu) 28 June 2018
After Jack Rodwell's departure yesterday, potentially more good news for Sunderland as Wahbi Khazri is reported to have given his agreement in principle to sign for Saint-Etienne. #SAFC
— Jeremy Smith (@jeremysmith98) June 28, 2018
I wonder if it would have been wiser to wait until after tonight to see how he did against panama surely a good display on the world stage would have increased his value?
— Steven Elliott (@ElliottSAFC) June 28, 2018
Shouldn't we have waited till Khazri scored a hat trick against Panama later before agreeing a fee with St Ettiene? #safc
— ParkerSafc (@Parkersafc) June 28, 2018
After getting rid of he who shall not be named..mcnair gone.hopefully khazri and a few others…the wage bill becomes manageable don't go into meltdown hoping we going to splash cash without the legwork which now happens leave @stewartdonald3 and Jack Ross to do their jobs #safc
— ftm (@Safcftm2016) June 28, 2018