Josh Maja scored his 15th League One goal of the season in Sunderland’s 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United on Saturday afternoon.
The 20-year-old is a serious talent, but his contract with the Black Cats will expire this summer and it is understood that he has turned down a new deal.
Maja’s departure, which is expected to take place before the end of the month, will be a huge blow to Sunderland’s chances of promotion.
Sunderland boss Jack Ross is understandably keen for the situation to be resolved as soon as possible so he can plan for the rest of the season.
With that in mind, we have picked out three free agents who could fill the Maja void if the striker leaves the Stadium of Light this month.
Without a club since being released by Monaco last year, Lacina Traore could be tempted to Sunderland if the wages on offer were acceptable.
The 6ft 8in powerhouse has experience of English football having represented Everton on loan during the 2013-14 campaign.
Not too many League One defences would relish coming up against the Ivory Coast international, who spent last season on loan with French outfit Amiens.
Would he go back? Victor Anichebe scored three times in 11 Premier League appearances for Sunderland during the 2016-17 season.
The Nigerian is just 30 years of age and is available on a free transfer having left Chinese outfit Beijing Enterprises in 2018.
Sunderland could certainly do a lot worse than making a move for the striker, who has played over 200 times in the Premier League.
Like Anichebe, Darren Bent has previous with Sunderland. The 13-time England international represented the Black Cats between 2009 and 2011, scoring 36 times in 63 appearances during a very impressive spell.
The 34-year-old has been without a club since leaving Derby County at the end of last season.
Bent was not exactly terrific whilst on loan at Burton Albion last season, but there is no question that he could score goals at League One level.