The Didier Ndong saga has taken a dramatic twist over the last two days.
The midfielder, 24, has been AWOL since the start of the summer after failing to return to the club for pre-season, but reports yesterday suggested Ndong was willing to take a pay cut to return to the Stadium of Light.
Today the Gabon international was pictured outside Newcastle Airport, sparking a big response from Sunderland supporters on social media.
Here's how fans reacted.
@RosesandSafc: "I don't think he has the intention of playing, just trying to give the appearance he wants to in lieu of the impending employment case."
@SpartinMartin84: "I wouldn’t even let him sell programs outside the SOL"
@bryancroft46: "No way he mite upset the good work lads have done so far the season !!"
@safc_lex: "Rather put him on a plane to the Arctic Circle"
@stannerssafc: "If he ever did I would bin my season ticket."
@Deanospamoni85: "Bang average and 100% not needed."
@michaeln67: "Don’t let him poison the squad."
Meanwhile on our SAFC Facebook page
Neil Grieves said: "Hopefully heading to departures never to be seen again."
Wilf Newall added: "Is he not flying to Benfica."
Jordan Renton "Not sure if he deserves a second chance but I'll allow Donald to make that decision."
David Feetham commented: "He’s only come back to get sacked so he can go to another club for nothing make him suffer no place in football for people like him."