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Sunderland terminate Djilobodji's contract

Djilobodji spent last season on loan at French side Dijon following Sunderland's relgation. Credit: PA

Sunderland have terminated the contract of defender Papy Djilobodji after he returned late from a period of leave and "comprehensively failed" a fitness test.

He has not featured in Sky Bet League One this season and a strongly-worded club statement on Wednesday 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."

"Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever. We don't even know where he is," said Club chairman Stewart Donald.

"Papy has returned but... there's an obligation on players to turn up in a condition in which you can play football, and the reality of it is that I would probably have beaten his [fitness] stats.

"When you've not turned up for 72 days and missed eight games of the season, and you come up in a condition which means you'll probably miss the next 12 games, I think that sort of says you're not really committed."

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McCarthy: I'm not returning to Sunderland

Credit: PA

Mick McCarthy has revealed he would "love" to manage again in the Premier League - but has admitted an untimely trip to Sunderland started some gossip about a return to the Black Cats.

The 59-year-old, who left Championship side Ipswich last month, was travelling on a train to pick up a car in Sunderland the day after Chris Coleman left the club.

McCarthy was spotted by a train worker, who saw an opportunity to make a bit of money.

"The cleaner saw me and did a double take," McCarthy told the Danny Baker Show on Five Live.

"He said 'are you Mick McCarthy? You're after the Sunderland job aren't you?'.

"I said 'I'm not actually. I'm going to see a friend and pick a car up'.

"He said 'I don't believe you, you're going for the Sunderland job'. So he walked off and came back and said 'I've had 100 quid on at 11/8'."

McCarthy was also spotted in Sunderland by fans, and after posing for selfies, rumours started on social media that he would be returning to the club he left in 2006.

Coleman parts company with Sunderland after relegation

Chris Coleman has left Sunderland. Credit: PA

Sunderland have sacked manager Chris Coleman after failing to keep the club in the Sky Bet Championship.

The 47-year-old left his role as Wales national team boss to succeed Simon Grayson at the Stadium of Light last November.

But Coleman could not prevent the Black Cats from suffering relegation during his five months in charge.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Sunderland AFC announces that manager Chris Coleman and his assistant Kit Symons have been released from their contracts.

"The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Chris and Kit for their tireless efforts in what has been a hugely disappointing season for everyone involved with the club.

"The club is unable to make further comment at this time."

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