Sunderland continue to hold talks with transfer targets

Dick Advocaat.
Dick Advocaat.
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Sunderland are in the early stages of negotiations with their remaining transfer targets after this week’s double capture of Jeremain Lens and Younes Kaboul.

The Black Cats splashed out more than £10million in the space of 24 hours to bring winger Lens and centre-half Kaboul to the Stadium of Light, to take the total of new summer arrivals to four.

But while Sunderland still have additions which they need to make, head coach Advocaat has been left thoroughly pleased by the business done this week.

But it is understood that no other deals are imminent, with sporting director Lee Congerton looking to make a breakthrough for the other players on Sunderland’s hitlist.

Sunderland are unquestionably in the market for further recruits though, with the final third of the pitch now the priority for Dick Advocaat – principally a creative midfielder and a striker.

There is thought to be money still available too after Kaboul proved to be £4m cheaper than previous target Nicolas Lombaerts, while Sunderland had allocated funds for new Middlesbrough signing Stewart Downing.

Congerton also still has two domestic loans available, which are likely to come into play towards the end of the transfer window.

But while Sunderland still have additions which they need to make, head coach Advocaat has been left thoroughly pleased by the business done this week.

Sunderland had spent several weeks in negotiations with Dynamo Kiev to a agree a transfer fee for Lens and reunite him with Advocaat after they had worked together at both PSV AZ Alkmaar.

And while it was a blow that Lombaerts – another player who Advocaat had worked with before – failed his medical, Sunderland landed replacement Kaboul within the space of 48 hours.

Sunderland are understood to have already lined up a deal for Kaboul as a contingency option for Lombaerts, despite concerns over the France international’s injury record at Spurs last season.

Advocaat wanted a strong and quick centre-half who was able to complement his existing options of Sebastian Coates, John O’Shea and Wes Brown, and believes he has got the right man in Kaboul.

Both Kaboul and Lens will meet up with their new team-mates in Toronto, with Sunderland’s squad flying to Canada immediately after their final friendly here in California against Club de Futbol Pachuca.