Papy Djilobodji’s Sunderland career is finally over after the player and his representatives reached a severance agreement with the club.
Official confirmation from the club came late today - after several weeks of legal wrangling a deal has been reached and the club are now able to officially sever all ties with the Senegalese defender.
Sunderland AFC has reached an agreement with Papy Djilobodji for his departure, his employment having terminated on 21 September 2018.https://t.co/1ADku9TnEU— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) November 7, 2018
Stewart Donald had appeared on the Roker Rapport podcast last week and during his interview he gave an update on Djilobodji’s status, saying that it hadn’t been concluded yet:
Djilobodji at the moment isn’t concluded, it’s with the solicitors. We’ve obviously said we’ll terminate his contract, he’s appealed that. So that hasn’t been completely concluded.
So it’s premature to say that Djilobodji has gone and won’t cost us any money. We have said he shouldn’t and he has gone, he’s said ‘no, I think you should be paying me and I’m not happy with your decision’.
Someone is going to decide on that in the very near future as to whether or not he’s got a case or we were correct. On the basis that we’re correct then yes, he’s gone. On the basis we’re not, then I presume he’ll come back and we’ll have to pay him.
We don’t think that will happen but stranger things have happened in the footballing world than that.
A breakthrough has been reached however and now the Senegalese defender will be free to resume his career at another club, although due to the transfer window being closed he will not be allowed to officially sign for a club until January at the earliest.
The Senegalese international was initially brought to the club by former manager David Moyes for a fee of £8m, in a deal that saw him sign a four-year contract.
The move turned into a nightmare for all parties however, with the only bright spell for the player being a loan spell in Ligue 1 with Dijon. The player reached a deal with Sunderland that would see him stay away from the club during July in the hopes of finding a new club but after failing to secure a transfer, the 29-year-old refused to return to the club during August and when he finally showed up in September, he was completely out of shape.
Djilobodji will now join Didier Ndong - who was let go in similar circumstances - in looking for a new club and Sunderland will be able to plan ahead knowing they won’t have to pay the player in the future.