Modibo Diakite is heading to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland have agreed a deal to sign Lazio defender Modibo Diakite on a free transfer this summer, subject to a medical at the club.
The arrival of Diakite will signal Paolo Di Canio’s first transfer at the Black Cats since his arrival as manager in March.
The 26-year-old has been at Lazio since 2006 after signing from fellow Serie A side Pescara for a fee of £260,000, helping the club to qualify for the Champions League during his second season in Rome.
Diakite has been out of favour at the Stadio Olimpico in 2012/13, playing just one match for the side in the Coppa Italia tournament.
Yet the centre-back’s arrival at the Stadium of Light should signal the start of brighter things to come, as Di Canio is looking to strengthen the club’s defence following the departures of Titus Bramble and Matthew Kilgallon.
The French-born Senegalese defender had been linked with moves to both Napoli and Liverpool and is therefore something of a scoop for Sunderland.
Diakite has suffered with several injuries during his career however and as a result Di Canio will have to be careful with how he utilises the defender – with the former Lazio man missing the entire 2008/09 campaign through injury, as well as having a shin problem this term.
The Italian boss is now set to turn his attentions towards another centre-back, Valentin Roberge, as his next summer signing, according to the BBC.
The 25-year-old Maritimo player is being targeted as a potential defensive partner for Diakite.