Why Didier Ndong had to return to Gabon after Sunderland sacking and what he's doing now

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Didier Ndong has returned to Gabon following his sacking by Sunderland and is reported to be training with a team in the third tier back home.

Sunderland sacked Ndong last month after he finally returned to Wearside having been AWOL since the start of the summer.

Didier Ndong.

Didier Ndong.

The Gabon midfielder was offered the chance to leave the Black Cats but could not agree terms on moves to Torino and Benfica, he subsequently failed to report for pre-season training and the club say 'no reason was given' for that absence.

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The club's strongly-worded statement also raised the prospect of future legal action if and when Ndong should join a new club.

Gabonese outlet iSport report Ndong had to return to Gabon because his residency card had expired. They claim he is now training with a third tier club in the capital Libreville though the name of the club has not been confirmed.

The report said: "According to our information, the residence permit of the former Sunderland player, Didier Ibrahim Ndong expired since last August.

"However, with his dismissal, the man has no longer a contract of employment. Without a work contract, no renewal of his residence permit. Hence his return to Libreville."

In the report, a source added: "He has a football team playing in 3rd division here in Libreville. He is busy preparing for the season. It will be difficult for him because financially it begins to experience difficulties."

Speaking last month, Jack Ross described the decision to serve Ndong notice his contract will be terminated as a 'statement of intent' by the club's owners.

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Ross said: "It has been relatively easy for me as a manager because of the work behind the scenes by other people, it meant I've not had to deal with a lot of it.

"I made my stance clear in terms of what I was trying to build on the training pitch and in the squad.

"I am grateful the owners have been in alignment with me in terms of their thinking, they been consistent and strong in their actions.

"It is difficult for me to comment in detail because I'm sure matters with Djilobodji and Ndong will take time to resolve completely but it is a statement of intent in terms of how we want to progress the club and take it forward."

Papy Djilobodji was also served notice after he returned from a lengthy spell AWOL and then subsequently failed a fitness test.