SUNDERLAND boss Dick Advocaat has dropped his interest in Celtic’s classy central defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Wearsiders have been linked with the Dutch star since the January transfer window, but the Hoops have been in no rush to part with the £10million-rated centre-half who still has two years of his contract to run.
Advocaat is now pushing ahead with a move to sign his former Zenit St. Petersburg stopper Nicolas Lombaerts.
The Black Cats have already snapped up one central defender this summer in Sebastian Coates, but the former Ibrox boss is still looking for defensive reinforcements to his backline. He has already added ex-Hoops right-back Adam Matthews after paying £2million for the Welsh international earlier this month.
Lombaerts, 30, has now become the top target, and a deal could be completed this week.
Advocaat signed the centre-back during his time as Zenit St. Petersburg manager and also worked with him at international level with Belgium.
Van Dijk, 24, was the original choice, of course, but the SPFL champions see him as a key figure in Europe in the forthcoming season.