Sam Allardyce admits Emmanuel Eboue frustration, gives defender slight ray of hope

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The Sunderland manager says "the door is still open" for the former Arsenal man to return if he can sort out his personal issues.

Sam Allardyce has offered Emmanuel Eboue a ray of hope after the club announced their intention to terminate the defender's contract at the Stadium of Light, claiming the player could yet return if he can sort out his financial dispute, as quoted by Sky Sports.

Eboue was only signed by the Black Cats three weeks ago on a short-term deal after a trial, but has been handed a one-year playing ban by FIFA after failing to pay his former agent.

The 32-year-old had been working on building up his match fitness and impressed Allardyce enough to be offered a contract, but has been give two weeks' notice of the cancellation of his contract after being suspended for failing to play a single competitive minute of football.

However, the 61-year-old manager has suggested that Eboue's chances of turning out for Sunderland are not yet dead and buried, claiming that the player could yet feature if he can sort out the issue.

Allardyce told reporters, as quoted by Sky Sports: "I feel a little bit let-down by the situation because we didn't know anything about it and we couldn't intervene in the end. It was a straightforward case of getting it sorted or getting banned.

"He's tried to negotiate that, but not been able to and the ban has actually come through. He can't even come anywhere near the training ground, never mind a football match.

"There will still be a slight door open if he can resolve the situation in the next few days because we've spent a huge amount of time getting him fit ready for the first-team. We were looking forward to bringing him into the squad and hopefully forcing his way into the side based on his abilities at his former clubs."

Allardyce had previously spoken of his pleasure at being able to add Eboue's experience to his relegation-battling squad, with the Ivorian having made over 200 appearances in English football for former club Arsenal.

However, it looks as though the Black Cats will have to continue their struggles without the defender, with DeAndre Yedlin and Billy Jones vying for a spot at right-back.

Sunderland host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as they look to leapfrog Norwich City to move out of the relegation zone.

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