Coming as a shock to precisely nobody, Sunderland have sacked Papy Djilobodji after the centre-half was 10 weeks late reporting in for pre-season training.
Having informed the club of his intent to leave, the Senegal international was AWOL for 72 days after failing to return, having spent the previous year out on loan at Dijon.
Djilobodji reportedly came traipsing back to the Academy of Light on Wednesday of last week. After assessing their options, the Black Cats then brought legal action against both him and teammate Didier Ndong, who has also been ‘missing’ since July.
The League One club have today released a statement confirming that Djilobodji’s £33,000-a-week contract has been mulched:
In order to facilitate [Djilobodji’s desire to leave], the club entered into a written agreement with the player allowing him to spend the month of July on voluntary unpaid leave.
When that period came to an end, the player was expected either to leave for a new club – having reached a deal satisfactory to himself and Sunderland – or to return in shape to play professional football.
Instead, he returned to Sunderland over a month later, in the first week of September, ignoring written requests for his return. On his return, he was subjected to the same fitness test that his fellow professionals had undertaken on their return. He comprehensively failed that test.
As a result, Sunderland AFC can confirm that it has accepted Papy Djilobodji’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.
Ambling back in with the season already nine games down and being chronically out of shape to boot?
Yep, that’s a paddlin’.