Runner-up to Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren in this season’s Golden Boot race, Le Fondre was linked with the League One Black Cats earlier this month, saying he was “flattered” by the interest.
Sydney are resigned to losing the former Reading forward, who has scored 39 A-League goals in 56 appearances for the club.
It’s understood he could depart Australia as early as Monday for the next stage of a career that’s previously taken in stops at Wigan, Cardiff, Wolverhampton and Bolton.
Though officially tied to Sydney until mid-2021, Le Fondre hasn’t received the contractual clarity he was seeking amid the threat of player pay cuts as drastically reduced funds from rights holders Fox Sports prompts a slashing of the salary cap.
Le Fondre told NewsCorp ahead of the decider against Melbourne City: “The uncertainty for the league is for everyone to see.
“What happens in the future happens, but for the time being I’m focused on football for Sydney and going back-to-back.“