Benji Kimpioka gives update on Sunderland future and makes contract admission
Benji Kimpioka says he was offered a four-year deal by Sunderland last autumn but has still not made a decision on his long-term future.
The Swedish forward is out of contract this summer and is yet to agree terms on a new deal.
Kimpioka is currently training with old club IK Sirius after being granted permission to travel home as the COVID-19 outbreak escalates in the UK.
With Sweden operating under far less restrictive measures, Kimpioka has been able to train with his former club in order to maintain his fitness.
Speaking last year, Kimpioka’s agent had told Roker Report that he would only sign new terms if he was to be guaranteed a place in the first-team squad.
Then manager Jack Ross responded by saying that it was a ‘good’ contract offer for a player who still had to prove himself in the game.
He was granted more first-team opportunities when Phil Parkinson arrived, scoring a crucial equaliser against Coventry City.
Opportunities have subsequently diminished and his future is now very uncertain.
“Sunderland offered me a new contract last summer, a four-year contract,” Kimpioka has been quoted as saying in Swedish outlet fotbollskanalen.
“I do not feel any stress, I am a Sunderland player and focus only on Sunderland. But we will see what happens this summer.
“It's been a little back and forth [this season], and especially with the contract part,” he added.
“Since I have not signed maybe the club thinks that I do not focus on them.
“For my own part, I've had to think a lot, like when they gave me the contract proposal. It was hard for me to focus.
“It has been an up and down period for me mentally with contracts and various club interests. It's about focusing on the football and trying to get your feet talking. I am not complaining, I am very grateful for my season.”
Sunderland are in the process of planning for the future in their various academy teams, with the vast majority of the U18 squad set for an overhaul.