Reputable French newspaper L’Equipe have published further details on the situation between Sunderland and Papy Djilobodji, perhaps adding context to what we already know with information that likely came from the player’s side of the argument.
In his appearance on the Roker Rapport Podcast this weekend, Sunderland owner Stewart Donald spoke diplomatically and honestly about the situation, and noted that whilst the club had given their best effort in order to rid themselves of both Djilobodji and Ndong this summer, negotiations with prospective new clubs fell down on each and every occasion.
In the piece by L’Equipe it is claimed that Sunderland plan to dismiss Djilobodji for gross misconduct in order to waive the payment of his contract, which still has another two years left to run.
They also say that the former Chelsea defender had planned to speak out about Sunderland’s stance on Friday, but retracted it in order to avoid legal backlash.
Instead, the report alleges that Djilobodji has hired a lawyer in order to assist with his dispute in court, and that he disagrees with Sunderland’s version of events.
Stewart Donald admitted on our Podcast that the club had made an agreement with Djilobodji whereby he would forgo his wages in order to avoid returning for pre-season training in July, something noted in the L’Equipe article. No deal was struck with regards to the player continuing his absence through August and where the club feel he should have returned back to training, the L’Equipe piece says that Papy stayed in Nantes during August because he had heard nothing more from Sunderland with regards to a return.
The article alleges that Sunderland wanted to loan the player out this summer, and that he had held discussions with both Caen and Bundesliga outfit Hannover 96, but because of Sunderland’s demands on his departure it made it more difficult for Djilobodji to leave.
L’Equipe claim that Djilobodji is now expecting to leave Sunderland ‘at any time’, and that he wants to negotiate a cancellation so that he can find himself a new club when the winter transfer window opens in January.