Jeremain Lens could fly out to join Sunderland in North America when he completes his £8million move, with Dynamo Kiev admitting the deal is on the verge of being done.
Lens confirmed yesterday that he had been in talks with his former PSV manager Dick Advocaat over moving to the Stadium of Light, and Sunderland are edging closer to making a major transfer breakthrough.
Kiev chief executive Rezo Chehonolidze says the deal is “80 per cent” done after Sunderland have spent several weeks locked in talks with the Ukranian outfit trying to agree a transfer fee.
And if Lens’ move is concluded imminently, he is likely to fly out to Canada next week, ahead of Sunderland’s final friendly here in North America against Toronto FC, with Advocaat’s men flying north of the border on Friday night.
Sunderland will hope to follow-up an agreement with Lens by sealing their pursuit of Zenit St Petersburg centre-half Nicolas Lombaerts, despite speculation about the Belgian international failing a medical.
Lombaerts’ move is not thought to be at such an advanced stage as that, and while it is a more complicated switch than Lens’, Sunderland are still hopeful of strengthening their defensive options with the 30-year-old.
But Lens’ imminent move will solve Sunderland’s search for a new left winger, which has been a priority for Advocaat and sporting director Lee Congerton this summer.
Sunderland have continually been linked with Spurs’ Andros Townsend, while Everton’s Aiden McGeady has also been mooted as a potential option over recent weeks.
But with Lens on board, Congerton will turn his attention to other areas of the side, albeit there remains uncertainty over Adam Johnson’s future due to his legal situation.
Kiev chief executive Rezo Chehonolidze says the deal is “80 per cent” done
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has rubbished suggestions that McGeady could be leaving Goodison Park underway, and it is understood that the ex-Celtic man had only been a back-up option for Sunderland anyway.
“Aiden McGeady is an exceptional footballer and he has a talent that is very important for our squad,” said Martinez.
“There has not been a conversation with another club about a possible transfer. What I am looking for is for him to be fully fit.”