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Swiss outfit Xamax have announced the departure of Sunderland linked centre-half Arbenit Xhemajli, with the Kosovo international becoming a free agent, as reported via the club’s official website.

While the Black Cats appear to be prioritising experienced League One performers this summer, landing Bailey Wright and Aiden O’Brien while targeting Remi Matthews, Luke Garbutt, Danny Graham and Scott Fraser, Xhemajli represents something a little different.

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The 6ft 3ins centre-back has never played outside of his birthplace of Switzerland, let alone having thrown his body on the line during a drizzly Tuesday night in Rochdale.

But Sunderland should be praised for thinking outside the box as they look to build a squad capable of storming back into the Championship after three seasons in the depths of England’s third tier.

While Xhemalji would arrive on Wearside under plenty of scrutiny, the Chronicle claims that Sunderland see the 23-year-old as a player with huge potential, and the ability to play Premier League football in the future.

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The Swiss league season ended on Monday and, after finishing bottom of a ten-team division, Xamax have announced that Xhemajli is one of 15 players who will be released at the end of his contract.

The former Zurich youngster would be tasked with forming a formidable partnership with the returning Wright, with Sunderland bidding farewell to Alim Ozturk, Joel Lynch and Tommy Smith earlier this summer.

Former Everton youth captain Morgan Feeney is also training at the Stadium of Light, while Tom Flanagan has signed a new contract.

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In other news, Gary Neville reacts to what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said in his press conference yesterday