Sunderland look set to sign experienced defender Modibo Diakite on a free transfer from Serie A outfit Lazio according to BBC Sport.
The Frenchman has come to the end of his contract with Lazio, and looks set to sign for Paulo Di Canio's men on the back of a Coppa Italia final victory with Lazio over arch rivals Roma.
Diakite started his career at Pescara and joined Rome based club Lazio seven years ago, but only became a regular at the Stadio Olimpico in the last two seasons. And it is his form in the last two seasons that sparked Di Canio's interest.
The 26-year-old centre-back will become Paulo Di Canio's first signing since his move to Wearside from Swindon Town. And it seems like Diakite will be one of many players making the move to Sunderland, after Di Canio told the Sunderland Echo he expects a busy summer.
"I will be working, even if I go back to Italy for three days. I will spend 20 hours on the telephone or go to Milan to meet Roberto (his agent). I have many things to do," Di Canio told the Sunderland Echo.
Di Canio would have been looking for a new central based defender after the release of Titus Bramble and Matthew Kilgallon, and also after the loan deal of Kadar Mangane expired.
Fellow Serie A side Napoli had previously been interested in the 6" 4" defender, with Napoli defender Hugo Campagnaro reportedly close on a move to Inter Milan. But it is Sunderland who look to have won the race for Diakite.
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