Papy Djilobodji: Sunderland terminate £8m defender’s contract

Papy Djilobodji last played for Sunderland in August 2017

Sunderland have terminated Papy Djilobodji’s contract, saying the defender returned to the club late and unfit.

The 29-year-old Senegal international, who cost £8m from Chelsea two years ago, put in a transfer request in June.

He failed to report for training in August after Sunderland allowed him to take unpaid leave during July to agree a deal at a new club.

The club said he “comprehensively” failed a fitness test upon his return.

Djilobodji, who was under contract until June 2020, only returned to training in the first week of September after ignoring a number of written requests from the League One club.

In a statement, Sunderland said he was subjected to the same pre-season fitness tests that the rest of the squad went through in July.

Sunderland signed Djilobodji from Stamford Bridge in August 2016, becoming former manager David Moyes’ first signing at the Stadium of Light, but his last first-team appearance for the Black Cats was in August 2017.

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