Sunderland are looking to offload veteran midfielder Lee Cattermole in their bid to reduce their wage bill by £70,000 per week.

This follows the Black Cats’ failure to achieve an immediate return to the Championship following their Play-Off final defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic. Cattermole and Bryan Oviedo are earning a combined £70,000 each week having agreed contracts whilst Sunderland were a Premier League outfit. Getting rid of both players would save Sunderland £3.5 million per year, significant when considering the club’s total income over the next year is expected to be less than £20 million.

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Steve Bruce is reportedly keen to reunite with the midfielder at Sheffield Wednesday, having signed Cattermole for Sunderland in 2009. However, Bruce’s plans have been jeopardised by the huge wages demanded by 31-year-old Cattermole, who still has two years left on his current contract. Bruce has previously admitted there are financial limitations on Sheffield Wednesday’s transfer activity, stating they would have to “box clever” with any signings.

Cattermole is an experienced and respected figure within the Sunderland camp, providing professionalism and leadership throughout the past season at the Stadium of Light. He made 32 appearances as The Black Cats reached both the Play-Off final and Checkatrade Trophy final. However, the signing of defensive-minded midfielder Grant Leadbitter in January means Sunderland are well-placed should they lose Cattermole to the his Championship suitors.

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Another high earner, Bryan Oviedo, looks set to leave in this transfer window. The full-back is currently away on international duty with Costa Rica for the Gold Cup, though has been linked with moves to Belgian side Club Brugge and Norwegian outfit Rosenberg. Despite playing 31 times last term for The Black Cats, Oviedo has remained non-committal to Sunderland, stating that “we will see” when asked about his future.

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