Attempts to move on AWOL Sunderland duo ongoing after Papy Djilobodji fails to return to training

Papy Djilobodji.
Papy Djilobodji.
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Papy Djilobodji remains AWOL with Sunderland’s attempts to move on him and fellow stayaway Didier Ndong ongoing.

Senegal international Djilobodji, 29, was expected back at the Academy of Light training base on Monday after Sunderland had received notification of his intention to return.

But Djilobodji didn’t report back to training.

After the pair saw deadline day moves fall through, their representatives have suggested that they will return to Wearside to push for a first team place.

Chairman Stewart Donald has made clear that will not happen and the club could pursue legal action after their failure to report for pre-season training.

Sunderland have not been paying Ndong and Djilobodji given their no-show this season.

Neither could secure a move away from Wearside this summer, which was a blow to Sunderland in their attempts to cut their cloth accordingly in the third tier.

Hannover and Trabzonspor were keen to strike a deal for Djilobodji while Leganes, Torino and Benfica all had a firm interest in Ndong.

With the majority of transfer windows across Europe closing last Friday, the options open to them are now limited but Sunderland are still hopeful of a resolution.

Possible avenues for Ndong and Djilobodji include Portugal, were the transfer window remains open until September 21.

Other options include Bulgaria (September 6) and Qatar (September 13) while deals can be completed in the United Arab Emirates until October 2.

While the pair are yet to return, that doesn’t mean they won’t.

Ross has insisted that if they do return then it will not disrupt the harmony he has built since taking charge.

“They may do [return] and if they do we’ll deal with them accordingly when they come in,” Ross said.

“I haven’t had any interest in them because they’ve never turned up and haven’t been part of what I’ve tried to build here. I don’t ever envisage them being part of that.

“However, that situation becomes more complicated if they come back in and it probably starts to extend beyond my remit as a manager but we’ll deal with that as and when.”