Latest transfer rumblings suggest Dynamo Kiev star Jeremain Lens is close to signing for Sunderland.
The Dutch international has previously played under Dick Advocaat at PSV and the rumour mill would have us believe that the Sunderland head coach has remained keen on him. Apparently relevant parties are in negotiations over a fee with a view to getting the deal thrashed out soon. Sources reportedly close to the Ukrainian side have been quoted as saying:
"The club do not want to lose him, but everyone knows he is going and it is just a matter of price, which is being talked through now"
With 29 caps for the Netherlands to his name, Lens is certainly a versatile attacking threat, playing either on the wing or as a forward. Assuming there's substance to the story, 27-year-old Lens would fill a void SAFC have struggled with since Fabio Borini returned to Liverpool.
One potential question mark over him is his recent goal return. With 10 since 2013 over 49 games, he hasn't exactly been prolific. However he's known for his pace and that is what we sorely lack within the squad. Arguably the only player we have with significant quickness is Patrick Van Aanholt and it would certainly be interesting to see whether an effective partnership could be developed between the two should the move come to fruition. Lens is right footed of course but has played on the left of a three before, notably alongside Van Persie and Robben.
As with all transfer rumours however, it's difficult to divorce the truth from pure invention. Sunderland have been linked with a deluge of Dutch footballers since Advocaat's return and we can't be sure at this stage whether this is pure speculation based on Dick's nationality and location of his previous employment.
While it's far from a guarantee, the Advocaat connection and the likely fee of around £8million does inevitably add some credence to the story especially when compared with some links we've seen so far this summer. It's not beyond the realms of possibility. You'd assume that there is a greater chance of us landing Lens, should we be so inclined, over names such as Jordy Clasie and Georginio Wijnaldum, who are likely to be in attracting significant interest by numerous big clubs.
With the transfer window now officially open, sporting director Lee Congerton will be looking to conclude some meaningful business quickly in order to help attract high calibre players, and it would be far from surprising if Lens was being courted by Advocaat. Perhaps Lens is an ideal early signing to help us focus and get the ball rolling.