Didier Ndong Explains Absence, His Reason Isn't Half Bad
Sunderland midfielder, Didier Ndong, has broken his silence on being sent home from international duty for allegedly failing to turn up for training without an explanation.
In an interview with a Gabonese publication, Ndong has apologised to the people of his home nation but explained his failure to arrive as expected, on his 'euphoria' at the news his wife had just given birth.
He also refuted claims made by members of staff of the Gabon football federation that he was unreachable, saying he had his mobile phone on him at all times and had spoken with various members of his family that day on the number he uses when abroad.
Finally, the 22-year-old issued an apology to the people of his country saying:
Apologies to the Gabonese people, to those who believe in me and continue to support me.
Further he stated his desire to be considered in future international selections, which will include the African Cup Of Nations which commences in under two months time:
My departure from the group makes me feel very bad. I am always available for my country.
His short interview neatly hands the baton back to the Gabonese football federation, who are already facing various crises as we reported last week.
This story has a way to run yet, and more will likely emerge later this week. Watch this space.
Earlier this week, Ndong posted a picture of himself enjoying the Gabon match that he missed from home. The game against Mali ended in a goalless stalemate.
His selfie was accompanied by the words:
I was in front of my screen yesterday to support the Panthers of the #Gabon.
Loaned-out Hit Wants More Cash to Make Move A Permanent One
Sebastian Coates wants a promise of more cash from Sporting CP before entering talks to make his move from Sunderland to the Portuguese giants a permanent one.
So say, reports in Portugal. Daily newspaper, Diario de Noticias, has today said that the Uruguayan central-defender has reaffirmed his desire to stay at the Sporting Lisbon club once his season-long loan deal expires in the summer.
According to the report, Coates earns €200,000 a month in Portugal, with Sunderland paying a relatively small portion of €30,000 towards it.
Sporting are likely to be unwilling to match what the player earns on his current Sunderland contract, but the report indicates that the 26-year-old would be willing to drop his demands to €45,000 a week with additional enhancements on-top, based on performance and a promise of a four or five year deal.
But, more than that - with his performances in Portugal attracting headlines across Europe - Coates may find himself in demand and Sunderland are said to want around €5m to secure his signature.
The former Liverpool defender is under contract at Sunderland until 2019 having been signed permanently in 2015.