PHIL PARKINSON has confirmed a contract offer for Benji Kimpioka remains on the table – but has hinted the striker is almost out of time if he wants to remain a Sunderland player.

Kimpioka’s former contract expired in the summer, but he was offered a new deal at the end of last season with Parkinson keen to retain his services.

The 20-year-old returned to his native Sweden to consider his position, with his agent having previously stated that he was reluctant to remain with Sunderland unless he received assurances about his likely involvement in the first team.

The situation has not really changed since then, but while Parkinson remains willing to re-sign Kimpioka on the terms that have been offered, he admits it will soon be too late for a deal.

The Sunderland boss said: “I think Jim Rodwell (Sunderland chief executive) was speaking to Benji’s agent today. I had a chat with him, his family and his agent at the start of lockdown and said, ‘The one thing you can’t do is waste another season’. I told him he needed to be back for pre-season.

“Unfortunately, he wasn’t back, and that’s a shame. It’s important we have players that are really committed to the club. At the minute, money is difficult for young players. It’s difficult to give them the money they think they should be on because it’s difficult times.

“We’ve got a valuation of where Benji should be, and it’s a very, very fair one in this current climate. There’s an offer on the table for Benji, but at this stage he’s already six weeks behind all the other players.”