SUNDERLAND are believed to have agreed a deal to bring Lazio centre-half Modibo Diakite to the Stadium of Light next season, although the French-born defender will not be officially unveiled by the Black Cats until after his contract expires at the end of next month.
The 26-year-old has allowed his contract with the Italian giants to run down this season and will be free to leave on a Bosman this summer.
The 6ft 4in defender has made 83 appearances for Lazio since arriving from fellow Italian outfit Pescara in 2006, where he had come through the club’s ranks.
But he has been unused by the Italian giants this season after losing his place through injury, and agent Ulisse Savini said earlier this month how Diakite would be keen on a move to Sunderland.
“If they call us, we would be honoured to speak with them,” he said.
But things have moved on rapidly since then, with Diakite now believed to be a done deal and looking forward to proving himself in the Premier League next season.