Sunderland 'edging closer' to Didier Ndong decision but hopes of Portugese move fade

Didier Ndong remains AWOL after failing to report for pre-season training
Didier Ndong remains AWOL after failing to report for pre-season training
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Jack Ross says he is not aware of any interest from Portugal as Didier Ndong's last hopes of a big European move fade.

Benfica had been interested in the 24-year-old earlier this summer and came close to an agreement on a fee, but the move broke down and they have since signed midfielder Gabriel from La Liga side Leganes.

Ndong also had the chance to move to Torino earlier in the window but the move broke down over personal terms and agent fees.

The Portugese window shuts on Friday and is the last big European league to close its market.

Ross does believe, however, that the club are getting closer to making a decision on the midfielder.

The Gabon international remains AWOL after failing to return for pre-season training.

READ MORE: Jack Ross discusses Charlie Wyke blow and whether Sunderland will look at free agents
"There's nothing that I've been made aware of it in terms of an imminent departure," Ross said.

"I think that the club are edging closer to trying to find an end to the matter, one way or another.

"Whether that goes down the same path as Djilobodji or whether it is a different one, I'm not entirely sure at the moment.

"I think they would like to get it ended one way or another. How it progresses from there we know already is difficult to say for certain but it won't affect me either way.

"In terms of having him back in the playing squad we've gone long beyond that I think."

Djilobodji was served notice on his contract last week.

Ross has previously admitted that the delay in resolving their futures had prevented him making a signing in the closing days of the British window.

It is also likely to prevent him from signing a replacement for Charlie Wyke.