England striker Danny Welbeck is expected to return to Manchester United after his loan spell with Sunderland.
The 20-year-old scored six times in 29 appearances for the Black Cats, but while Steve Bruce had given up on signing Welbeck permanently, he had harboured hopes of a second loan spell for the United man.
But according to the Evening Chronicle, United have made their intentions clear that Welbeck, who scored for England Under 21s in their Euro clash with Spain at the weekend, will re-join the Red Devils next season.
Bruce may yet get some success from Old Trafford, in the form of a triple swoop for Darron Gibson, Wes Brown and John O'Shea.
The boss has also begun talks with Korean striker Ji Dong-Won, to help replace Welbeck, who admits that he enjoyed his fruitful spell at the Stadium of Light.
“My main aim was to come to Sunderland and get games and minutes under my belt week-in, week-out. I succeeded with that and I was really happy with the way the season went.
“That two month-spell after the Chelsea game was the best of my career. I was getting a few goals and my performance level was up there.
“Sunderland have got a good core of young players and everyone’s hungry and wants to improve – everyone’s pushing forward together – and I was delighted they finished in the top ten and above Newcastle.”