Sunderland have sacked Papy Djilobodji after he reported late back to pre-season training and then failed a subsequent fitness test.
Sunderland had been weighing up their options regarding the defender after himself and Didier Ndong, failed to report to pre-season training following relegation to League One.
But now the Black Cats have revealed the full extent of Djilobodji’s breach of contract, confirming he was AWOL for a month having been given July off on unpaid leave to try and find a new club.
After then returning at the start of September, he failed a fitness test prompting urgent action.
The club released a statement on their website confirming the termination of the defender’s contract.
The statement read: ‘Sunderland AFC has given notice under its contract with Papy Djilobodji. Djilobodji, who was under contract to SAFC until June 2020, indicated in June 2018 that he wished to leave the club.
‘In order to facilitate that desire, the club entered into a written agreement with the player allowing him to spend the month of July on voluntary unpaid leave.
‘When that period came to an end, the player was expected either to leave for a new club – having reached a deal satisfactory to himself and SAFC – or to return in shape to play professional football.
‘Instead, he returned to Sunderland over a month later, in the first week of September, ignoring written requests for his return. On his return, he was subjected to the same fitness test that his fellow professionals had undertaken on their return. He comprehensively failed that test.
‘As a result, Sunderland AFC can confirm that it has accepted Papy Djilobodji’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.’