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Roker Roundup: Dick Advocaat talks about failed Sunderland move for Dutch international in 2015

Dick Advocaat has spoken about how he tried to sign Ron Vlaar when he was Sunderland manager; Kyle Lafferty is heading back to Britain; and the Dell group have bought an Italian club.

Roker Roundup 20/21
Your daily reminder of Sunderland news!

Lafferty wanted by Kilmarnock

Former Sunderland striker Kyle Lafferty is currently a free agent, but that could soon change, with reports suggesting that he is wanted by SPL outfit Kilmarnock.

The Daily Record claim that Killie boss Tommy Wright is set to offer the Northern Ireland international a deal until the end of the season as he looks to add more goalscoring options to his squad.

Lafferty departed Italian side Reggina last month by mutual consent, and had appeared set for a move to Romania with Sepsi, only for the transfer to break down due to a failure to agree personal terms.

Speaking to ProSport, Lafferty confirmed the deal had fallen through, despite the player being ready to head for Romania:

In football, details make the difference. We did not agree on some issues and we were forced to decline the offer. I am sorry that I did not reach an agreement, I was ready to come to Romania.

Sunderland v Gillingham - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Platek purchases Serie A club

Robert Platek had attempted to purchase Sunderland as part of MSD Capital, only for the takeover to evolve into a £9m loan of the club.

MSD Capital then further invested into English football with similar loans to Derby County, Burnley and Southampton and Platek also purchased Danish outfit SønderjyskE.

Yesterday, the American businessman completed another takeover as he finalised his move for Serie A outfit Spezia.

The move was confirmed by the club on it’s official website and made clear that the takeover was by the entire Platek family, rather than MSD Capital.

Speaking about the takeover, the Platek family told Spezia’s website why they decided to get involved with The Eagles:

We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Spezia Calcio. Serie A football is in an elite class of its own, and it has been our long-held ambition to find the right opportunity to partner with a special Club in Italy.

From the time of our initial conversations, we have been extremely aligned with the mission, ethos, and ethic of Spezia Calcio. The Club embodies the hard-work and humility espoused by the people of the surrounding area - values ​​shared by our family.

We are humbled by this opportunity to become stewards of the Club. As a family, we are proud to play a small role in helping the team to grow, achieve further success and make the fans proud.


Advocaat on failed Vlaar move

Sunderland were linked with a move for Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar in 2015, as Dick Advocaat looked to strengthen the centre of defence.

Reports at the time suggested Vlaar was an alternative to current Liverpool centre-back - but then Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk - and in a press conference on Wednesday [via Voetbal International], Advocaat revealed that he did actually try and sign the Villa man.

Vlaar retired this week and while discussing the player’s career, Advocaat said Sunderland vetoed the move due to persistent injuries, with even Vlaar himself worried about his chances of passing a medical:

Then we also spoke to the club, but they said we should not take him because of the injuries. Then I also called him and talked about it. Of course he had to be tested and he was afraid of that.

Despite those injuries, the current Feyenoord manager said Vlaar can end his career with his head held high:

He is 35 years old. At a certain point you have to know and feel for yourself: can you still go or not?

The boy has to see through that himself. He has had a wonderful career. I don’t know how many matches he played, he played a semifinal at the World Cup with the Dutch national team, there aren’t many who can say that…. He can finish with his head held high in that respect.

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images