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Following Sunderland’s relegation, it promises to be a very busy summer transfer window at the Stadium of Light.

With seven players reaching the end of their contracts, and the likes of Jordan Pickford and Lamine Kone expected to be sold, a squad rebuilding will be necessary.

The Lads reportedly won’t have as much cash to splash in the Championship as rivals Newcastle did, so attentions may turn to the free agent market in order to pad out their wafer-thin squad, ready for a gruelling championship season.

With that, here’s four out of contract players Sunderland should take a look at:

4. John Ruddy

 The 30-year-old has been at Norwich since 2010, enjoying a couple of Premier league seasons and winning an England cap during his time with the Canaries.

With Pickford set for a big money move away and Vito Mannone attracting interest from Italy, Ruddy could be the perfect choice for The Black Cats’ Championship push.

 3. Sebastien Bassong

Another set for release by Norwich, Bassong has amassed experience in England at clubs such as Watford, Spurs and Wolves. The 30-year-old has also enjoyed a brief stint in the North-East at Newcastle, and may well end up the latest in a line of players to cross the Tyne-Wear divide.

While unlikely to get pulses racing, Bassong has proven himself to be a capable Championship defender who can also offer something severely lacking amongst the Black Cats’ backline; pace. Money will be spent on the centre-half position, with names like Aden Flint mentioned, but Bassong will certainly do as a back up option.

 2. Arouna Kone

 Though Kone, 34 in November, probably wouldn’t be the most popular of choices, rotation options up front are massively important when considering fixture congestion, and Kone may still be able to cut it in the Championship.

Sunderland fans have seen first hand what he’s capable of after his hattrick for Everton in their 6-2 win over the Lads, but question marks have also been raised over his consistency. The slight drop in quality from the Premier League to the Championship may suit Kone down to the ground, and while never a starter, a role off the bench isn’t out of the question.

 1. Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam has long been a target for Sunderland, dating back to the Steve Bruce and Martin O’Neill days. With Jan Kirchhoff most likely leaving and Lee Cattermole and Darron Gibson perennially on the sidelines, there’s certainly a gap in the squad for a calming central midfield influence, and Adam fits that bill.

In addition to his great range of passing, Adam has also displayed the tenacity and grit necessary for a Championship midfielder. Central midfield is a position Sunderland need to spend money on in the summer, but bringing in Adam would only strengthen them further.