SUNDERLAND have sacked Didier Ndong – and will claim compensation from both the midfielder and a potential future employer if he signs another professional contract.

Ndong and his representatives attended a brief meeting at the Academy of Light yesterday in which Sunderland officials served formal notice of their intention to terminate the 24-year-old’s contract.

Like his former team-mate, Papy Djilobodji, Ndong failed to report for pre-season training in the wake of last season’s relegation to League One.

He did not receive permission to be absent, and while he indicated a desire to return to the first-team fold over the weekend, Sunderland owner Stewart Donald was adamant he did not want him back at the club.

Ndong is the Black Cats’ record signing, having cost £13.6m when he signed from Lorient in 2016, and Donald is determined to recoup as much of that sum as possible if the Gabon international signs for another club.

A Sunderland statement said: “Sunderland has given notice under its contract with Didier Ndong. The player, who was under contract with Sunderland 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, Sunderland has accepted Didier Ndong’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player. Sunderland 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.”