JON McLAUGHLIN will be one of the highest-profile departures from Sunderland this summer, with the club’s failure to secure promotion from League One set to herald a major overhaul at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats’ fate was sealed on Tuesday, with the decision to scrap the remainder of the League One season ensuring they finished in eighth position, the lowest finishing placing in the club’s 141-year history.

A third successive season in the third tier means finances will be tighter than ever, and Phil Parkinson is braced for the exit of a number of senior figures in the next couple of months.

McLaughlin will be one of the first through the exit door, with the goalkeeper expected to sign for Championship side Blackburn Rovers when his contract on Wearside formally expires at the end of the month.

McLaughlin’s representatives held talks over a possible new deal last summer, and former boss Jack Ross was initially optimistic that the Scotland international would be persuaded to extend his stay in the North-East.

However, discussions broke down over finances, and it quickly became apparent that McLaughlin would not be returning to the negotiating table in the second half of the current campaign.

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray has long been linked with a summer move for the 32-year-old, and Rovers officials are confident of being able to tie up a deal as soon as the transfer window officially reopens.

Having briefly removed McLaughlin from Sunderland’s starting line-up in the autumn, Phil Parkinson restored the Scot to his starting side in November and his departure represents a considerable blow given his experience and ability.

Lee Burge deputised for McLaughlin in five league games, and also played in all three cup competitions, and having signed a two-year deal when he joined the Black Cats last summer, the 27-year-old will be available next season.

However, it is far from clear whether Parkinson regards him as a long-term number one, and the Sunderland boss will be in the market for an experienced shot-stopper this summer.

McLaughlin will not be the only senior figure leaving as a free agent as a number of his current team-mates are also coming to the end of their deals without an extension in place.

Eleven of Sunderland’s first-team players are due to become free agents at the end of the month, and there is a good chance that the vast majority of that group will head elsewhere.

Aiden McGeady will definitely be leaving, having fallen out with Parkinson prior to joining Charlton Athletic on loan in January. The winger will only be offered a permanent deal at the Valley if the Addicks avoid relegation to League One, but whatever happens in south London, he will not be offered new terms at the Stadium of Light.

Four of Sunderland’s senior defenders are out of contract this month – Tom Flanagan, Alim Ozturk, Jack Baldwin and Joel Lynch – and while Parkinson would ideally like to keep Flanagan and Ozturk given their importance this season, both players have attracted competing interest from elsewhere. Baldwin, who did not make a single League One appearance for Sunderland this season, will not be offered a new deal.

Luke O’Nien settled his future when he agreed to the triggering of a clause that extended his contract for another year in December, but Tommy Smith has already left after his short-term deal expired and Duncan Watmore’s current contract is due to expire in three weeks’ time. Given his wretched injury record in the last few seasons, there has to be a good chance the 26-year-old will not be offered new terms.

In attack, Chris Maguire, Kyle Lafferty and Benji Kimpioka are all coming to the end of their current agreements, with Kimpioka set to leave after rejecting a number of offers to remain with Sunderland. Lafferty penned a short-term deal when signing as a free agent in January and could be offered a similar arrangement again, while Maguire is known to have suitors in both Leagues One and Two.