Sunderland are looking into suing record-signing Didier Ndong, after sacking Papy Djilobodji for breaching his contract.
Djilobodji turned up for pre-season 72 days late and, according to chairman Stewart Donald, in no shape to play football, while Ndong still remains absent without leave and the club ‘don’t know where he is’.
Donald said yesterday that the club would be within their rights to sue the duo, signed for a combined £21.5m, for ‘wilfully devaluing themselves’ in an attempt to force Sunderland to terminate their contracts or sell them for minimal fees.
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Both players signed for the club when they were in the Premier League and are desperate to leave the now League One club, but moves away from the Stadium of Light did not happen in the summer, with Ndong’s proposed switch to Torino falling through due to his wage demands.
But rather than sue Djilobodji, they have sacked the 29-year-old. He was given July off on unpaid leave as he looked for a new club, however he should have reported to pre-season in August, only to fail to turn up until September.
He ‘comprehensively failed’ fitness tests on his return and Sunderland related a statement on their website saying that they have ‘accepted Papy Djilobodji’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.’
Speaking on talkSPORT yesterday, Donald insinuated they were looking at fining them
“I’m certain we’re allowed to fine them,” Donald said.
“But the question is whether they’ve done enough in breach of their contracts [for us] to terminate their contracts and pursue them for wilfully devaluing themselves.
“Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever. We don’t even know where he is. Papy has returned but in his last conversation [before coming back] he said: ‘You’ll never see me in Sunderland again.’.
“Just because they can’t move now we don’t think they’ve behaved well enough for us to say, ‘All right, we’ll pay you’, never mind play them, because neither of them are in condition to play.”