Dijon have ruled themselves out of a permanent transfer for Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji after admitting that his wages are too high for the club’s budget.
The Mustards, who currently play in the top-flight of French football, had the Senegalese centre-back on loan last season. The Black Cats’ defender became an integral part of Dijon’s side during the 2017/18 campaign, keeping five clean sheets, scoring one goal and providing one assist during his 31 appearances in all competitions.
Despite guiding Dijon to their highest ever league finish since reforming in 1998, the 29-year-old’s chances of moving there permanently look rather unlikely.
In a recent interview with L’Equipe (via African Football), the club’s president Olivier Delcourt revealed that Djilobodji’s current salary is too high for the club to sign him permanently, with the statement: “He has an English salary, so is inaccessible for us.”
L’Equipe also reported that his current salary, which they have reported at being around £40,000 a week, was too high for the French side to pay. The French outlet also suggests that Dijon only contributed to a third of his wages last season.
Since signing for Sunderland in August 2016 for £8 million from Chelsea, the Senegalese defender has made 24 appearances for the Black Cats across the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup.
It is almost certain that Djilobodji will depart the Stadium of Light during this transfer window as Sunderland prepare for their fist season in the third-tier of English football since the 1987/88 campaign, but as Dijon have already suggested, his high wages may become a stumbling block in any potential move; Transfermarkt currently value the defender at just shy of £5 million.
The 29-year-old made his international debut for his native Senegal in a friendly against Zambia in August 2013. Since then, Djilobodji has gone on to win 14 caps for his country, but after being left out of the squad in all of Senegal’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers by manager Aliou Cisse, his omission from their World Cup was inevitable.