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A buyer for Papy? La Liga club reportedly keen to purchase Djilobodji from Sunderland

Papy Djilobodji was a terrible signing for Sunderland, but the Senegalese defender is quickly restoring his reputation now back in French football.

Livingston v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

According to reports in Spain, La Liga outfit Celta Vigo are keen to take Papy Djilobodji off Sunderland’s hands, and best of all - they’re willing to pay a fee.

The Senegalese defender is on loan at French side Dijon FCO this season after exiting Wearside on deadline day following a poor first season in English football.

Djilobodji was signed by David Moyes for a fee of £8m in the summer of 2016 but failed to impress as Sunderland were relegated. All things being equal, he would be expected to return to the Stadium of Light next summer as the loan agreement between the Black Cats and The Mustards contains no automatic option to buy.

Djilobodji in action for Dijon

But it seems the 28-year-old’s re-found form in France has attracted the interest of clubs around Europe. Djilobodji has impressed at the heart of Dijon’s defence as his side have lifted themselves clear of the Ligue 1 relegation zone with three wins in their last four.

The Sunderland-owned centre half has completed 90 minutes in each of Dijon’s nine league matches to date after not featuring for the Black Cats from January onwards in the Premier League last season.

Djilobodji fell out of favour with Moyes after receiving a four game suspension for violent conduct after appearing to strike West Brom’s Darren Fletcher. He was restricted to a place on the bench upon his return with the occasional outing for the Under-23s

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League 2
Djilobodji playing for the U23s in August
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The Spanish report claims Celta Vigo may yet be put off by Sunderland’s asking price but that initial contact between the two club’s and the player’s agent has been made.

It seems unlikely Djilobodji would be able to move in the January window but that would be dependent on the terms of his loan agreement. If he did, any cash income would surely be gratefully received by new Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.

Who knows what the defender will be worth now - perhaps half what Sunderland paid for him just 15 months ago?