Jack Ross opens up on wantaway Sunderland duo Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji as striker hunt continues

Jack Ross admits it would be best all round if a solution can be found over wantaway duo Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji before the end of the month.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 4:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 4:18 pm
Didier Ndong.

The AWOL pair both want to leave Sunderland AFC this summer and are not being paid having failed to report back for training since the summer.

Ross admits the situation is "not healthy" and says "it’s disappointing when it comes to that with professional players conducting themselves in that manner".

Didier Ndong.

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There is interest in Ndong from La Liga and Ligue 1, while reports in Germany claim there is Bundesliga interest in Djilobodji from Hannover 96 and Borussia Monchengladbach.

When asked what happens with Djilobodji and Ndong if they don’t find new clubs, Ross said: "Again, from a contractual and legal aspect, I’m not entirely sure.

"I don’t think the club is under any obligation to pay them as far as I’m aware, because obviously they’ve failed to report for work.

"It’s not a healthy situation and I don’t think it’s ideal; it’s disappointing when it comes to that with professional players conducting themselves in that manner.

Papy Djilobodji.

"For me, certainly from a football perspective and a management aspect, it’s been okay.

"Selfishly for me, it’s been okay because they’ve never been here. I’ve never really had to worry about it.

"I do feel for Stewart [Donald] and the board in that sense, because they have to carry that burden and then try and find a solution.

"I think Tony Coton and Richard Hill have worked incredibly hard at trying to do that.

"I think for everybody concerned it would be better if there was a solution found before the end of the window," he added at his pre-match press conference.

Sunderland host Sheffield Wednesday in the first round of the Carabao Cup on Thursday night at the Stadium of Light.

On the ongoing attempts to bring in a striker, Ross added: "We’re still trying to. It’s difficult to say with any certainty whether we’ll have anybody else in the squad prior to Thursday evening.

"We are very light in forward areas at the moment, but the balance is obviously then who we bring in, what they add to the squad and how they work with what we’ve got coming back - because they players are going to come back.

"We’re still working hard on it, but I couldn’t say with any certainty that we’d have that done before Thursday."