Gus Poyet has said summer signings Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite could leave Sunderland this month.
The defenders were signed by the club's former director of football Roberto De Fanti, who has recently left, and have made a combined total of 14 Premier League starts this season.
The recent loan signing of Santiago Vergini has pushed them further down the club's pecking order.
With the Black Cats believed to be considering offers for both players, Poyet told the Shields Gazette: "A player normally wants to play and, when they are not, they're always looking for options."
Diakite could return to Italy, with Verona and Genoa both reportedly examining a potential deal for the defender.
Meanwhile, Spanish side Hercules are said to be interested in Roberge, with manager Quique Hernandez having previously worked with the Frenchman at Aris.