Benji Kimpioka edging closer to Sunderland return after contract breakthrough
Benji Kimpioka is edging closer to a return to Sunderland – with Phil Parkinson hopeful the youngster is close to putting pen to paper on a new deal.
The Swedish youth international has been in prolonged contract talks with the Black Cats after his deal at the Stadium of Light expired over the summer, and has been training with former club IK Sirius in recent weeks.
A contract offer has long been on the table for the 20-year-old, but Kimpioka was keen for guarantees of more exposure to first-team football before committing his future to any club.
But the forward is now nearing a return to Wearside, with Parkinson hopeful that a breakthrough in talks has been reached in recent days.
"The last I heard on that, I think Benji was close to agreeing his contract.
"It’s the same contract which has been on the table for a long time, so I’m not sure if that has been finalised in the last couple of days.
“If it is, then he comes back and gets himself fit and sees if he can push himself back into the reckoning.”
And Parkinson insists it will be a completely clean slate for Kimpioka should he finalise his return to the Academy of Light.
“There’s no question about that, it’s just frustrating he’s a bit behind,” added the Sunderland boss.
“But he’s been working back in Sweden on his fitness, so until we get him over here we won’t be able to see where he is.”