The agent of Lazio defender Modibo Diakite has confirmed his client has chosen to join Sunderland next season.
Diakite has been with Lazio since 2006, but failed to make a single appearance for the club last season after losing his place in the first team due to injury. Out-of-contract with his current club this summer, the 26-year-old had previously held discussions with a number of clubs over his future including Inter Milan.
Previously thought to be close to joining Napoli, his agent Uli Savesse confirmed that an unexpected hold up in the deal has forced his client to move elsewhere and join Paolo Di Canio on Wearside.
“It was all done with Napoli but then there were obstacles in the way and the timing was bad and we had to end up making another choice,” Savesse told passioneinter.com.
Speaking on Diakite’s imminent departure, Lazio owner and president Claudio Lotito told Corriere dello Sport on Friday: “Lazio has a setting for a certain type, for this is Lazio. Otherwise, we would be another team. Whoever stays at Lazio must meet this requirement. Let us not be charmed by names and surnames.”
The news follows reports earlier this week that Sunderland had also tied up a deal for FC Basel midfielder Cabral. Also out-of-contract, ESPN sources understand the former Swiss youth international is undergoing the formalities of a four-year-deal with the Black Cats.