Jack Ross on Papy Djilobodji's Sunderland return and what happens next

Papy Djilobodji has returned to the Academy of Light but Jack Ross says the matter is now in the hands of the Sunderland ownership.

Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 16:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 04:43 am

The defender did not report for pre-season training after a loan move to Dijon FCO last season, but failed to secure a transfer in the closing stages of the summer window.

Sunderland withheld his wages in that period.

Papy Djilobodbji has returned to Wearside

Some markets remain open but with options dwindling, the 29-year-old has returned to Wearside.

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Sunderland are considering legal options with the impasse set to continue.

"Papy is back," Ross said.

"Beyond that, because of how the situation has developed and how it will probably continue to develop, it goes beyond me.

"I can't really comment on it other than to say that Stewart [Donald] and Charlie [Methven] have stressed that they'll be the only ones who comment on where his future lies and how it will develop for the club.

"We've said it often enough, a solution would have been best a long time ago and that still remains the case."

Djilobodji has not joined team-mates in training, having not played since last season and not had any pre-season programme to speak of.

His fitness is therefore well short of other players at the club.

While Ross cannot say whether he expects the Senegalese man to return to the fold, he admitted earlier this week that he believed it unlikely.

"I can't really comment on the situation," Ross said.

"But the one thing we've obviously tried hard to do is build a spirit quickly within the group and the players have done that really well. I think that they appreciate that and want to maintain it.

"We're conscious of that and that's how we've approached every player we've brought to the club."

Didier Ndong remains AWOL with the club unaware of his whereabouts.

He is also not receiving his wage after failing to report for pre-season.

The Gabon midfielder had a number of opportunities to leave the club this summer, with Torino, Leganes and Benfica all making moves for his services.