Sunderland striker Benji Kimpioka returns to North East as League One uncertainty continues
Benji Kimpioka is back on Wearside as Sunderland wait to hear how their season will be concluded.
League One clubs are expected to vote on a possible curtailment of the campaign early next week, once the EFL's proposed framework passes a vote of its own.
Kimpioka returned to Sweden before the lockdown measures were imposed in the UK, granted permission to be closer to family.
With the lockdown measures there far loss severe than in the UK, Kimpioka was able to train with his old club, IK Sirius.
Sunderland had hoped to return to small-group training this week ahead of a possible resumption behind closed doors, but the EFL blocked that as the League One impasse continues.
Though government guidelines insisting that anyone arriving in the UK should self-isolate for 14 days do not come into force until the end of next week, Kimpioka is understood to be following the measure as a precaution.
Sunderland's academy campaign has already been curtailed, and while Kimpioka has not featured in the first team since November, there remains widespread uncertainty over the elgibility of players whose contracts are expiring, even if the season does resume.
Kimpioka is one of twelve Sunderland players affected, and revealed last month that he is yet to decide on a four-year deal he had previously been offered by the club.
“I do not feel any stress, I am a Sunderland player and focus only on Sunderland," he said.
"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.”