BENJI KIMPIOKA is on the verge of signing a new contract that will see him return to Sunderland – and Phil Parkinson insists the striker will start with a ‘clean slate’ if he finds himself back in the Black Cats squad.

Kimpioka’s future has been a long-running saga this summer, with the 20-year-old having initially rejected Sunderland’s offer of a new deal on Wearside.

With his previous contract having expired earlier this summer, the youngster returned to his native Sweden while his agent discussed his position with a number of potential employers.

A series of possible leads have led nowhere near though, and with Sunderland’s initial offer having remained on the table, Kimpioka is set to re-commit himself to the Black Cats.

Parkinson has clearly been frustrated at the length of time that has elapsed since the forward last trained as part of Sunderland’s squad, but if he returns to the fold in the next few days, he will be given every opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the senior group.

“The last I heard on that was that Benji was close to agreeing his contract,” said Parkinson. “It’s the same contract which has been on the table for a long time.

“I’m not sure whether that’s been finalised in the last couple of days, but if it is, then he comes back and gets himself fit, and let’s see if he can push himself into the reckoning.

“There’s no question that he will be given a chance. It’s frustrating that he’s a bit behind. He’s been working on his fitness back in Sweden, although until we get him over here, we won’t really be able to see where he is.”