Younes Kaboul has expressed his desire to leave Sunderland due to personal reasons, and the club have duly accepted a bid for him from Watford.
The statement on SAFC.com reads:
Sunderland AFC can confirm that it has accepted a bid from Watford for Younes Kaboul.
Younes had spoken with David Moyes in recent days, expressing his desire to leave the club for personal reasons.
The club therefore agreed to a request from the player’s representative to be allowed to speak to Watford regarding a move.
An agreement has been reached between the two clubs and the player has been given permission to talk to Watford regarding personal terms.
Speaking about the situation, Younes Kaboul said: "This is not an easy situation for me, but the club and the manager have shown an understanding of my personal circumstances and I am grateful for that.
"The Sunderland fans have supported me fantastically well since I came to the club, they gave me my passion back and I sincerely thank them for that. I hope they understand that I have made this incredibly difficult decision for me."
At least the player and the club have been honest about it, I suppose, but this is just absolutely terrible.
Kaboul is our strongest central defender and the partnership that he and Lamine Kone share is perhaps one of the best in the league, so to see him leave Sunderland is a bitter, bitter blow to our future plans.
Younes has been brilliant for us. We gave him a chance when his career looked to be over at Spurs and he got back fit and playing at a level where he was showing the kind of form that he had when he was a regular at White Hart Lane. He blubbed like a baby when we beat Everton last season and there's no hard feelings on my part - it is what it is. Family comes first and we have to respect that.
Good luck to him.
Back to ourselves, though - this leave us hanging in a very precarious position. For the amount of money we'll likely receive for Younes, will be replace him?
Well, probably not. The truth is probably that Papy Djilobodji has already been signed to replace him, and that Sunderland now need to seek yet another defender to ensure that we aren't left short.
This is not the kind of news that we need, especially now that the season has started. Kaboul has legitimate reasons for wanting to leave Sunderland but this does not help the football club - we now have a very small window in order to replace him, and that's alongside the massive amount of players that we already needed.
Personally though I urge the supporters to remain calm on the situation - the club will strive to do what is best for us when a bad situation arises and we still have time to recruit the players that we need to move forward this season. We overcome a number of stumbling blocks already this season and I have faith that we'll do it again.
Above all else though, lets not sling mud and blame the club. They're pretty blameless here and have shown class in allowing Kaboul to move in order to resolve issues in his personal life.
We move on.