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Sunderland terminate the contract of defender Papy Djilobodji

Papy Djilobodji's last first-team appearance for Sunderland was in August 2017
Papy Djilobodji's last first-team appearance for Sunderland was in August 2017

Sunderland have terminated the contract of defender Papy Djilobodji after he returned late from a period of leave and "comprehensively failed" a fitness test.

The 29-year-old spent last season on loan at French side Dijon, following a disappointing 2016-17 campaign as the Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League.

He has not featured in Sky Bet League One this season and a strongly-worded club statement on Wednesday read: "Sunderland AFC has given notice under its contract with Papy Djilobodji.

"Djilobodji, who was under contract to SAFC until June 2020, indicated in June 2018 that he wished to leave the club.

"In order to facilitate that desire, the club entered into a written agreement with the player allowing him to spend the month of July on voluntary unpaid leave.

"When that period came to an end, the player was expected either to leave for a new club - having reached a deal satisfactory to himself and SAFC - or to return in shape to play professional football.

"Instead, he returned to Sunderland over a month later, in the first week of September, ignoring written requests for his return.

"On his return, he was subjected to the same fitness test that his fellow professionals had undertaken on their return. He comprehensively failed that test.

"As a result, Sunderland AFC can confirm that it has accepted Papy Djilobodji's repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player."

Club chairman Stewart Donald was even more critical of Djilobodji and his fellow absentee, record signing Didier Ndong, in an interview on talkSPORT on Tuesday.

"Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever. We don't even know where he is," said Donald.

"Papy has returned but... there's an obligation on players to turn up in a condition in which you can play football, and the reality of it is that I would probably have beaten his [fitness] stats.

"When you've not turned up for 72 days and missed eight games of the season, and you come up in a condition which means you'll probably miss the next 12 games, I think that sort of says you're not really committed."


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Most Read Football

We look ahead to the latest round of matches in the Nations League1

Nations League tips: Go for goals

George Pitts looks ahead to tonight's UEFA Nations League action, with three selections from some important matches.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

Paper Talk: Madrid want Rashford

All the day’s main back page football news, including Spanish giants chasing Marcus Rashford

Luka Modric (left) and Kylian Mbappe: Both in the Ballon d'Or running after impressive World Cups3

Modric odds-on for Ballon d'Or

With the Ballon d'Or awards taking place in December, we take a look at the odds with Luka Modric the current favourite.

Sky Bet Championship Market Movers4

Championship Market Movers

With the international break coming to an end, the Sky Bet Championship action returns, as we dissect the outright markets concerning both ends of the table.

Sporting Life Price Boost for November 205

Sporting Life Price Boost

Sky Bet have enhanced the odds of a four fold on Tuesday's international football, exclusively for Sporting Life readers.

Football Tips

We look ahead to the latest round of matches in the Nations League

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George Pitts looks ahead to tonight's UEFA Nations League action, with three selections from some important matches.

Royal Line (right) pulls clear to win the November Handicap

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