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Report: Sunderland Closing In On Lazio Defender

Will Luis Pedro Cavanda be the second Lazio defender to arrive on Wearside?

Luis Pedro Cavanda
Luis Pedro Cavanda
Scott Heavey

It's been a busy day for Sunderland, from the agent of Lucas Orban talking about Sunderland's interest, to Sunderland reportedly opening talks with Alessandro Rosina of Siena and finally to the big news of the day, Sunderland confirming the appointments of De Fanti and Angeloni, as well as the signings of Cabral, Diakite and Roberge.

Hot on the heels of those stories, comes news of Sky Italia claiming Sunderland are close to finalising a deal for Lazio right-back Luis Pedro Cavanda, which was followed by Italian football expert, Gianluca Di Marzio, saying negotiations over the transfer are at a good point.

Cavanda, who was originally linked with Sunderland in January, is a 22-year-old Angolan born Belgium under-21 international. Primarily a right-back, although also able to play left-back, Cavanda made his Lazio debut in 2009 but didn't establish himself in their first team until this season, after previously spending time on loan at Torino and Bari.

Although he impressed with his performances this season, the defender lost his place due to a contract dispute with the Rome based side. With his contract expiring at the end of the 2013/14 season and after being unable to reach agreement with Claudio Lotito, the Lazio president, he was dropped from the side and the dispute reached such an impasse that Cavanda had considered going to court to get his contract annulled.

Such an eventuality is not wanted by either Lazio or Cavanda, with both sides hoping a transfer can be pushed through before Saturday, after which the contract dispute will go to arbitration.

Lazio had received offers for the defender for around €3m but were hoping for at least €5m before they would agree to sell but, with the deadline looming, it is probable that a fee lower than that will be enough to convince Lazio to cut ties with Cavanda.

With Phil Bardsley reportedly being told to find a new club and doubts over the future of Craig Gardner, a new right-back was a priority for the new transfer team and with the arbitration deadline looming, we may not have to wait to long to fill what has been a problem position for Sunderland.