Sunderland have announced the termination of Didier Ndong's contract after he provided ‘no reason’ for his absence from the club since July.
The 24-year-old joined the English League One side in a club-record fee of £13.6 million in August 2016 on a five-year deal from French Ligue 1 side Lorient and made 49 appearances for the side, scoring once.
In January, the midfielder signed for Premier League side Watford on loan with an option of making the deal permanent but after an unimpressive stint, the Hornets allowed him to leave.
However, the former CS Sfaxien player failed to return to Sunderland for four months and the Black Cats, on Monday, announced the termination of the Gabon international's contract.
“Sunderland AFC has given notice under its contract with Didier Ndong,” read a statement from club website.
“The player, who was under contract with the club until June 2021, failed to return to Sunderland for pre-season training in July as scheduled, nor in the subsequent months that followed. No reason was given for his failure to report and continued absence.
“As a result, the club has accepted Didier Ndong’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.
“Sunderland AFC does so whilst retaining the right to pursue the player and any club he may subsequently join in relation to compensation for the value of the player.”
Earlier, the club also terminated the contract of Senegal international Papy Djilobodji for returning late to the club.