Nicolas Lombaerts has denied he failed a medical at Sunderland after the collapse of the £5m deal.
The Echo understands Sunderland had agreed a fee with Zenit St Petersburg for Lombaerts and a deal was also reached over personal terms for the 30-year-old, contrary to reports last night that the two parties couldn’t agree wages.
But the move has collapsed.
Lombaerts, speaking to the Belgian press, has denied it had anything to do with him failing a medical though.
Lombaerts, a Belgium international defender, suffered a serious knee injury in 2008 but has nce gone on to play more than 200 times for Zenit
The 30-year-old told the Belgian publication Sporza: “I took the decision myself. I didn’t want to join Sunderland. The story about a failed medical is untrue.”
The comments were reported by the Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur.
Lombaerts added: “I want to stay in Russia. It’s a thoughtful decision. With Zenit, we fight for trophies every season.”
Sunderland are now looking at other targets, who are understood to have already been identified.