Sunderland have confirmed the departure of Lee Cattermole from the Stadium of Light with immediate effect.
The 31-year-old midfielder completed his tenth season as a Black Cats player during the 2019/20 campaign, having joined for £6m from Wigan Athletic in August 2009.
However, Cattermole was only one of two players still at the League One club following back-to-back relegations from the Premier League - alongside Bryan Oviedo - and, as such, had huge wages in comparison to the rest of the squad.
Cattermole, who scored seven goals in 36 appearances last term as the Black Cats lost the play-off final to Charlton, has been linked with a move to Sheffield Wednesday this summer.
The player released his own statement in which he said it was "the right time to find a new challenge".
The statement read: "Sunderland is a special club and this decision has not been easy, but I believe it is the right time to find a new challenge.
"The football club, over my 10 years, has had some fantastic managers, staff and players and I have been lucky to be part of that.
"I would like to say a big thank you to Jack Ross and his staff, and I wish him and the current squad all the beast for the coming season. There are some exciting young players at the club and I will be looking forward to seeing them progress.
"And finally, and most importantly, the fans. You are what makes the club special and your passion and commitment is something that has always inspired me throughout my career at Sunderland and will continue to inspire the team. Thank you."
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