Report: Sunderland push to sign Nicolas Lombaerts, end interest in Celtic star Virgil van Dijk

Dick Advocaat

Sunderland are reportedly hoping to tie up a deal for Zenit St. Petersburg defender Nicolas Lombaerts.

According to The Chronicle, Sunderland are pushing ahead with a move to sign Zenit St. Petersburg defender Nicolas Lombaerts, having failed in a move to land Virgil van Dijk.

The Black Cats have already snapped up one central defender this summer in Sebastian Coates, but manager Dick Advocaat is still looking for more defensive reinforcements.

The Chronicle report that Lombaerts, 30, is Sunderland's top target, and a deal could be completed in the coming days, prompting a reunion with Advocaat.

Not only did the Sunderland boss sign the centre back during his time as Zenit St. Petersburg manager, but also worked with him on the international stage with Belgium.

That makes the potential deal perfect for Advocaat, Sunderland and Lombaerts, but it has all come about because Sunderland couldn't sign Virgil van Dijk.

The 24-year-old Celtic centre back, has starred in Scottish football ever since joining the Bhoys from Groningen two years ago, and whilst the Dutchman is ready for the next step up, The Chronicle report that Sunderland have given up hope of signing van Dijk this summer.

How much will it take for Celtic to sell van Dijk?

Van Dijk has been sensational for Celtic, and the Bhoys will certainly fight tooth and nail to keep him in Glasgow - or at least drive up his price.

6ft 4in centre backs with great technical ability and potential are hard to find, yet Celtic have one, making him a prized asset this summer.

For Celtic to even entertain selling van Dijk this summer, they would surely need an offer worth over £10m, which may be beyond Sunderland's budget, but could be ideal for another Premier League team.

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