Sunderland's 2020/21 campaign ended in heartbreak last month as they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Lincoln City in the play-offs which consigned them to another year in the third-tier of English football.
Having now dusted themselves down from this particular clash, the Black Cats are currently gearing up for next season by launching an overhaul of their squad as they recently parted ways with seven players.
Whilst Sunderland manager Lee Johnson is determined to keep Aiden McGeady, Charlie Wyke, Denver Hume and Luke O'Nien at the club, it is looking increasingly likely that he will have to wave goodbye to at least one of these players this summer.
Meanwhile, McGeady is likely to commit his future to Sunderland after a breakthrough was made between the two parties last week over contract discussions.
As for O'Nien, it is understood that his future is no closer to being resolved despite the fact that his current deal is set to expire at the end of June.
The defender was offered a new contract by Sunderland last month but he has yet to put pen to paper.
In a fresh update concerning O'Nien, it has been revealed that a potential suitor from the Championship could be about to pull out of the race to secure his services.
According to the Hull Daily Mail, Hull City are unlikely to secure the 26-year-old's signature due to the fact that they cannot afford to match his financial demands.
The defender has reportedly received offers from elsewhere which are bigger than what the Tigers were able to table.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Whilst the news that Hull are unlikely to sign O'Nien may give Sunderland a boost, they still have a battle on their hands to convince the former Wycombe Wanderers man to stay at the Stadium of Light.
When you consider that the defender was able to average an impressive WhoScored match rating of 6.95 in League One last season, it is abundantly clear that he possesses the talent required to thrive at this level and thus Johnson will be desperate to keep him.
However, with the likes of Luton Town, Millwall, Preston North End and Middlesbrough all keeping tabs on O'Nien, Sunderland will need to draft up a list of replacements as the defender may be tempted to make a move to the Championship.
Providing that Johnson is able to convince O'Nien to commit his future to the club in the coming weeks, there is no reason why he cannot guide Sunderland to promotion next year.
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