After being absent without leave all summer, Papy Djilobodji will finally report to the Academy of Light for training tomorrow.
The defender had refused to turn up for pre-season training and made it clear he saw his future away from the club, but the transfer window for most of Europe shut on Friday without a move materialising.
During this period the club had withheld the player’s salary payments due to the 29-year-old’s non-appearance but, now he is returning to training, the club are taking legal advice and plan to sue Djilobodji for breach of contract as he has directly reduced his value to the club.
Sunderland paid Chelsea £8m for his services under then manager David Moyes and clearly have no chance of getting a return on that investment.
He attracted interest from the likes of Trabzonspor and Hannover 96 during the transfer window but both moves fell through, with the player’s demands being too high for the buying clubs.
Although he will be allowed to return to training as he’s still under contract to the club, Djilobodji will not be allowed to train with the first-team and, while the current owners are in charge, he will never play in the red and white stripes of Sunderland again.
While the club explore legal action against the player, we understand that the club are looking to withhold his salary until all legal avenues are exhausted.
Should Didier Ndong return to training in the future, he will suffer similar consequences as the club are in no mood to accept people taking liberties with the owners, management and fans of the club.