SUNDERLAND are confident their three highest earners will leave the club before the international transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Lee Cattermole, Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji are all currently in talks aimed at securing a move away from the Stadium of Light.

However, Jack Ross is increasingly minded to keep Bryan Oviedo on Wearside, with the full-back having featured in both of the Black Cats’ League One matches.

Cattermole is the closest to completing a move away from the North-East, with Ligue 1 side Bordeaux discussing a possible season-long loan for the 30-year-old.

While Cattermole came off the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Luton, the former skipper has not disguised his desire to move on this summer.

Hull City discussed a possible move at the start of the month, but opted not to firm up their interest ahead of last week’s deadline for permanent transfers.

The Tigers could still sign Cattermole on loan, but Bordeaux’s interest is now at a much more advanced stage, with the Stockton-born midfielder having indicated a willingness to uproot to France.

Bordeaux are managed by former Sunderland boss Gustavo Poyet, and the Uruguayan has instructed his board to try to complete a deal.

Poyet developed a close relationship with Cattermole during his time on Wearside, and is confident he is still capable of making an impact in the French top-flight despite his advancing years.

Bordeaux, who are currently competing in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, started the French domestic season with a 2-0 home defeat to Strasbourg at the weekend – Lamine Kone was an unused substitute for their opponents – and Poyet is keen to secure an additional defensive-midfield option.

Cattermole currently earns around £40,000-a-week with Sunderland, and it is unlikely that Bordeaux would be willing to meet the whole of his wages.

Ideally, the Black Cats would like to remove the whole of Cattermole’s pay packet from their books, but as the end of the month approaches, they might well be prepared to consider a deal that would see them pay a small proportion of the midfielder’s wages for the remainder of the season. Having signed a new six-year deal at the Stadium of Light three years ago, Cattermole is contracted to Sunderland until 2021.

Djilobodji still has two years of his Sunderland contract remaining, although the Black Cats are not currently paying his wages as he failed to report back to training earlier this summer.

He has been linked to a number of different clubs in the last few weeks, but it now looks as though the German Bundesliga could be his eventual destination as he looks to engineer a loan deal that will take him through to the end of the campaign.

Hannover 96 officials have met the centre-half’s representatives to discuss a possible move, and are hoping to have at least one new defender in place before the Bundesliga programme begins on August 25.

Borussia Monchengladbach have also been credited with an interest in Djilobodji’s services in the German press, but at this stage, Hannover’s negotiations are understood to be much more advanced.

As with Cattermole, Sunderland would ideally like to remove all of Djilobodji’s wages from their balance sheet. However, if this proves impossible, they will consider a deal that would see them meet any shortfall.

Like Djilobodji, Ndong is also currently receiving no payments from Sunderland as he too failed to return to pre-season training.

A proposed move to Torino broke down when the Serie A club balked at the midfielder’s financial demands, but Sunderland officials remain confident that an alternative deal can be engineered before the transfer window for most of Europe’s leading leagues closes on August 31.

That is also the deadline for Football League loans, with Ross keen to recruit another striker as quickly as possible.

With Charlie Wyke and Jerome Sinclair injured, Josh Maja is currently Sunderland’’s only available centre-forward.

Ross is hoping to sign a young striker with the potential to improve if he gets a run in the team, but the Black Cats boss was forced to remove one of his leading targets from his wanted list yesterday when Manchester United’s James Wilson joined Aberdeen on loan.