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ROKER ROUNDUP: Sunderland may be struggling to shift him but French side make Djilobodji enquiry

Whilst Sunderland have struggled to offload him and his big wages, Ligue 1 side Caen have, according to reports in France, made an enquiry for AWOL defender Papy Djilobodji.

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Millar features for Liverpool

After signing Jordan Hunter and Jack Bainbridge for the development squad, Sunderland had hoped to follow that up with the signing of Hunter’s former Liverpool team-mate Liam Millar.

That deal has still not gone through, despite Stewart Donald appearing on the Roker Rapport podcast last week and confirming that the club expected to wrap up the transfer:

I don’t think it’s officially gone through.

He was someone that was on our list and we were expecting him to sign.

While we wait for confirmation on whether the deal will go ahead, the Canadian is featuring for Liverpool’s development squad on their pre-season tour of Hungary.


Falkirk snap up Greenwood

After leaving Sunderland in January, academy product Rees Greenwood signed a short-term deal for National League side Gateshead but now that contract has ended, the 22-year-old has signed a one-year contract with Scottish Championship side Falkirk.

Speaking about the signing, Falkirk’s manager Paul Hartley believes Greenwood will excite the Bairns’ fans:

Rees impressed me greatly during last week’s friendly with East Stirlingshire. He lacks general match sharpness, but overall you could see real quality in his play.

We want players that will excite our supporters here and I believe Rees will do just that. He comes with a great pedigree having played Premier League football and he’ll settle in quickly as he knows a few boys in the dressing room already.

Greenwood will link up with his former Sunderland team-mate Tommy Robson at Falkirk and look to rekindle the successful left-wing partnership they had during their Sunderland under-23 days.

Watford v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Williams bemoans luck

Crystal Palace midfielder Jonny Williams had an extremely frustrating loan spell at Sunderland last season, as the 24-year-old only started seven times thanks to injuries.

Speaking to football.london, Williams bemoaned two separate shoulder injuries in the last two seasons that have prevented him from playing regularly, says he’s not sure where his future lies because of his injury problems but hopes that having his shoulder pinned will allow him to play more often:

I have been unlucky really, when I have played in the Premier League it has been 15 or 20 minutes here or there and in that time, I was able to create chances, and I felt comfortable at that level.

Obviously, I played at the European Championships as well, which compares to the Premier League and that level, so I am comfortable playing in that.

It is hard to judge where I am at at the moment, because I haven’t started a league game [for Palace] since the play-off final, so I can’t really be judged yet on whether I can play in the Premier League.

I have just kept my head down and worked hard. That’s all I can do.

I don’t know if I will still be here in a few weeks, or whether I will be involved, it is a bit of an unknown for me at the moment.

The last two seasons, I have been unfortunate to have two shoulder operations, but that’s football and that is just unlucky.

Now it is pinned in and fixed, I don’t really have any concerns about that, but I have had to miss six months in two seasons altogether through shoulder operations, which is unfortunate.

Hopefully, when I can get going, I can show people what I can do.


England crash out

Despite only needing to avoid defeat to get through to the semi-finals of the under-19 European Championship, England crashed after a heavy defeat to France.

France dominated from the off and in truth the 5-0 scoreline flattered England but despite that dominance, Sunderland’s Elliot Embleton can hold his head high after a display that wasn’t matched by his team-mates.

The 19-year-old manufactured England’s best chances as he hit the crossbar from outside the box on the stroke of half-time, headed just over the bar in the second half and then almost scored at the death but after a jinking run, his shot was stopped by the French goalkeeper.


Interest in duo

Sunderland’s hopes of removing Papy Djilobodji from the wage bill received a boost this week after the news that SM Caen made an enquiry for the central defender.

Sunderland are not currently paying the want-away player’s wages after he refused to return for pre-season training.

Bryan Oviedo did return to Sunderland yesterday for pre-season training but the player is hoping to leave after our relegation to League One and the club is keen to move the player on due to the Costa Rican international being one of our highest earners.

Although there has been interest from elsewhere, Club Brugge still hope to sign the left-back. According to voetbal24.be, the player is on CEO Vincent Mannaert’s wishlist and the possible £12m sale of the Belgian club’s Brazilian striker to Lazio may see a bid come in for Oviedo.

Switzerland v Costa Rica: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images