Paddy McNair will almost certainly be gone from Sunderland in the coming weeks, with three Championship clubs set to swoop if Brighton don't meet the Black Cats asking price.
Sunderland simply aren't in a position to turn down the fee they're expecting to land for the 23-year-old Northern Ireland international.
McNair's man-of-the-match appearance midweek as Martin O'Neill's men drew with Panama did no harm to his rising stock and valuation.
Brighton are said to have had an initial bid of £2m knocked back but with competition mounting for his signature, Sunderland are keen to bag at least £5m for the man signed from Manchester United in 2016.
That sum would be equivalent to around the average value of a League One squad. The Black Cats are set to embark on a busy summer of departures and new arrivals now that Jack Ross has been officially unveiled as manager at the Stadium of Light.
McNair was signed by David Moyes during the opening weeks of the Scot's doomed rein on Wearside. After a bright start to his Sunderland career, the Ballclare boy ruptured his ACL in November 2016 and missed 11 months of football.
Returning to the Black Cats side in October 2017, McNair gradually grew in strength and fitness and finished the season strongly as one of the few players to shine under Chris Coleman. A strong presence in midfield coupled with an eagerness to get forward saw the 6' 2" lad score four goals in his final 5 appearances of the season.
McNair returns to these shores in the next few days once Northern Ireland play Costa Rica in California tomorrow. His future could be resolved as early as next week.
Sunderland fans have hoped that the club would rebuild its League One squad around McNair but with cash being flashed and multiple suitors circling, it seems inevitable that Paddy will be on his way this summer.