Sunderland face competition for transfer target Jeremain Lens

Jeremain Lens
Jeremain Lens
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Turkish side Besiktas have joined Sunderland in the race to sign Dutch international Jeremain Lens.

The Black Cats have been tracking Lens this summer as a possible solution to boost their options out wide, with the left wing position understood to be a major priority for head coach Dick Advocaat and sporting director Lee Congerton.

Lens played under Advocaat at former club PSV Eindhoven and fits Sunderland remit for the pacy winger needed to boost an attack which boasted the second worst goal return in the Premier League last season.

But reports in Turkey have indicated that Besiktas have now entered into preliminary negotiations with Dynamo Kiev over Lens and hope to land the 27-year-old.

There have been suggestions in the Ukraine that Kiev are prepared to offload Lens, with doubts over whether he wants to prolong his two-year stay at Kiev.

However, Lens has now joined the rest of the Kiev squad at their pre-season training camp in Austria.

Sunderland are not thought to have made a concrete bid for Lens, but he is a player on their radar, along with ex-Black Cats loanee Stewart Downing, who remains a prime target.

West Ham winger Downing is understood to be well aware of Sunderland’s interest and is thought to be open to a move to the Stadium of Light if the Hammers accept an offer.

But Downing’s former club Middlesbrough are also very much in the running, with the Championship club hopeful that the emotional pull of a return to the Riverside can see them win the race for the 30-year-old.