After an extremely unproductive year at Sunderland, Modibo Diakite has cut his spell at the club short after Sunderland confirmed he has left the club by mutual consent.
The 27-year-old was signed from Lazio on the free transfer during the Paolo Di Canio/Roberto De Fanti era but rarely featured for the club before heading out on loan to Fiorentina.
Although he started four of the first five games in the 2013-14 season, he never looked fit and struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and lost his place in the squad once Di Canio left the club. Diakite was recalled for a three game spell over the festive period due to somewhat of an injury crisis but, after standing out against Romelu Lukaku and Everton, once again struggled with the pace of the league.
His final competitive appearance for the club came during the 1-0 home win against non-league Kidderminster in the FA Cup, which came shortly before he departed for a six-month loan spell at Fiorentina, who are hoping to re-sign the player now he is a free agent.
It is understood that Sunderland took advantage of an option to break Diakite's contract if he failed to play a certain amount of games for the club within two years. With it looking hopelessly inevitable that clause would activate, it placed the club in a strong bargaining position to push for an early release.
After the departure of Modibo Diakite, and with Valentin Roberge attracting interest from Ligue 1, that could mean two new defenders will join the club before the transfer window closes, with Virgil van Dijk and Geoff Cameron both still linked with a move to the Stadium of Light and and Sebastian Coates expected to sign on loan.
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