The arrival of Sebastian Coates on Wednesday, as confirmed on Sunderland's offical website, doesn’t appear to be the end of the defensive reinforcements at the Stadium of Light, with Di Marzio reporting that a deal has been agreed for Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts.
The Belgium international has been plying his trade in Russia since 2007 after making a switch from his native Gent, and the composed defender has been a mainstay at the club, contributing to four Russian titles and a Europa League success along the way.
Lombaerts is a regular for the Belgian national side and a switch to the North East of England would represent a major coup for Sunderland following a disappointing season last year.
Veterans John O’Shea and Wes Brown have given loyal service, but the need for some fresh blood has been evident for a couple of seasons.
Lombaerts' arrival would add a touch of class at the heart of the Black Cats defence and in him and Coates, there could be the basis of a strong defensive unit.
More is needed if Sunderland are to push on next season and Di Marzio also report on the club's pursuit of Dynamo Kiev’s Jeremain Lens. An £8.5 million bid is believed to have been offered for the pacey winger, with Advocaat hopeful of securing a deal soon.
Both players would be fantastic additions to the Sunderland squad and would bring about fresh hope for their long-suffering supporters ahead of the new campaign.