Ndong fears arrest
After Papy Djilobodji was sacked, the future of Didier Ndong is still up in the air with the Gabon international still AWOL from the club.
According to reports in his homeland, Ndong is terrified of the repercussions from his failure to return to Sunderland and believes he may get arrested at the airport should he actually return.
Speaking to Gabonese outlet iSport, a ‘source’ close to the player says a London-based negotiator has been commissioned to talk to Jack Ross about a potential return to the club for the player:
In reality, Didier Ndong is afraid of reprisals and other sanctions that may be imposed on him by the club. He even thinks he will be arrested at the airport because he has left the club for almost 7 months.
Remember that the club is very up against him, including some of the audience. So it’s hard for him right now.
For this purpose, we commissioned a London-based negotiator to negotiate with Jack Ross, the team’s manager, for his return to the Blacks Cats. We hope they understand.
We understand that the club are in talks with the player’s representatives in order to work out a deal and are hopeful that the situation is nearing its end, with the likely outcome being that Ndong will be released from his contract in exchange for a fee and a cut of future income from potential transfer sales.
Gooch determined to succeed with Sunderland
Lynden Gooch has been one of Sunderland’s better performers this season, with the American racking up assists, scoring the last gasp winner on the opening day victory against Charlton Athletic and being an integral part of the Jack Ross’ fledgling side.
In an interview with americansoccernow.com, the 22-year-old says there was always going to be interest in his services once we had been relegated to League One but that he just wants to get the club back to where it belongs:
I knew there would be interest elsewhere but this is the club I’ve been with a really long time and I would do anything to get the club back where it belongs.
The manager really made me feel that I would be an integral part of the team from day one.
Gooch goes on to say that two successive relegations have made the last two years extremely difficult, particularly due to how much the club means to him:
The past two years have been some of the hardest of my life, let alone in my career being involved with two successive relegations.
The club obviously means a lot to me. Without the club, I wouldn’t be a professional footballer. They really invested in me and worked to give the best opportunity to have a career in the game.
So the club means a lot to me and I hope we can finish the season on a happy note.
He also discusses his versatility and how that string to his bow has not always been a good thing in regards to his Sunderland career:
I’ve been playing as a right wingback in a 3-5-2, it’s been something that is interesting. I’ve never played as a wingback before. I’ve been enjoying it.
I am just happy to be playing week in and week out and I think the manager has seen that I can play in that position and really offer the team something. It’s been nice and refreshing to check another position off because I’ve played quite a lot for this club.
That has been quite tough in the beginning because I can play a so many different positions and every manager has a different thought process as to where I could be playing and what’s best for me.
So it’s hard for me to lock down one positions. But this is working. So as long as that’s happening, I am happy to be playing where I’m playing.
You can read the rest of the interview, where he discusses his international hopes in detail, HERE.
More Christie details emerge
Jack Ross had been hoping to sign Celtic attacker Ryan Christie before the transfer window closes on August 31 and the Sunderland manager had said the uncertainty surrounding wantaway pair Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji would be to blame of the move didn’t go through:
Ryan obviously isn’t playing much at Celtic at the moment, though he did come off the bench in a league game at the weekend.
He’ll have interest from elsewhere and we’re not in position where we can do anything immediately. That may be problematic for us as these hours wounds down. It may not be, things could change.
There’s been dialogue with clubs so we could potentially move something forward quite quickly. But because the deadline is longer in some European countries, that complicates it again.
In theory the two players could still sit it out. It has been a saga, it’s been rubbish for Tony [Coton] and Richard [Hill], time consuming and stopped them focusing on the positive aspects of the club. It is sad in a lot of ways, they’re footballers, they should want to play.
Obviously no move for Christie materialised but if the futures of Ndong and Djilobodji had been sorted before the transfer deadline, Ross would still have been out of luck.
According to a report in the Scottish Sun, Christie was lined up for a move to the Stadium of Light but Moussa Dembele’s big money move to Lyon being confirmed late on deadline day left Celtic light on attacking numbers and would have frustrated any move for the Scottish winger.