CRISTIAN Riveros is set to lead a summer exodus from the Stadium of Light by agreeing a permanent move to Turkish side Kayserispor at the start of next week.
Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill is hoping to oversee significant changes before the start of next season, and Riveros is one of a number of fringe players he is hoping to move on.
The Paraguayan midfielder has spent the season on loan at Kayserispor, making 25 appearances and generally impressing in the Turkish top-flight.
Kayserispor officials are hoping to agree a permanent deal for his services, and Riveros' representatives are due to meet with Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne next week to discuss a possible departure.
Ideally, the Black Cats would like to receive a fee for the 29-year-old, who arrived as a free agent in 2010. However, with Riveros about to enter the final year of his deal, it is unlikely they will hold out for a significant figure.
"There's a meeting due to take place in the not-too-distant future between the player's agent and our club," confirmed O'Neill. "We'll see what happens."He's a player I know by reputation more than by seeing and it will be interesting to see what the views are that come out of those talks."
Riveros is one of 13 players currently on loan away from the Stadium of Light, and a significant proportion are not expected to return to Wearside on a permanent basis.
George McCartney's long-term future at West Ham is likely to hinge on the outcome of the Hammers' promotion push, while the likelihood of Asamoah Gyan playing another game for the Wearsiders is receding fast.
Gyan is on a season-long loan at UAE side Al-Ain, and while O'Neill insists the door remains open for the Ghana international to resurrect his career in the Premier League, he is aware of talk suggesting the striker does not want to return to Sunderland.
"He signed a year-long loan, and they (Al-Ain) paid a proportion of the transfer fee we paid in the first place," he said. "That loan is still in existence.
"There was some talk between all parties in January that didn't come to anything. I wasn't party to those conversations, although I was kept informed. It will be the end of the season before I can assess anything further.
"There has to be a willingness on behalf of all parties to agree to what is proposed. You wouldn't want somebody who is unwilling to come back to the football club. That might not be the case here, but it seems to be the message that's coming across."