NICOLAS LOMBAERTS has travelled to Wearside to complete personal talks after Sunderland agreed a fee of around £5m for the Belgium international.

Zenit St Petersburg finally accepted the Black Cats’ offer for the centre-half on Monday, and Lombaerts was given formal permission to travel to the North-East.

He is understood to have been on Wearside yesterday, discussing personal terms with Sunderland officials and undergoing a medical.

Reports surfaced in Italy yesterday afternoon claiming the medical had revealed a knee injury, but club sources were last night downplaying suggestions that the deal was in jeopardy.

Provided there are no problems with Lombaerts’ medical, the 30-year-old should be confirmed as Sunderland’s third signing of the summer within the next 48 hours.

That would enable him to link up with his new team-mates in the United States, and potentially take part in the Black Cats’ forthcoming matches against Club Pachuca and Toronto FC.

Sunderland have been pursuing Lombaerts since the start of the summer, but negotiations with Zenit officials proved difficult to conclude as the Russian club altered their stance on a number of occasions.

However, the Wearsiders’ persistence paid off, and Advocaat is looking forward to working with a centre-half that he first encountered during his three-year spell as Zenit boss between 2006-09.

Sunderland’s head coach is also hoping to be reunited with another of his former players, Jeremain Lens, before the end of the week, with the Dynamo Kiev winger close to agreeing a move of his own following days of intensive discussions.

Dynamo general director Rezo Chehonolidze yesterday claimed a deal to take Lens to Sunderland was “80 per cent agreed”, and the Holland international is expected to arrive on Wearside for a medical of his own before the weekend.

Lens is determined to leave Ukraine because of the ongoing political situation in the country, and while a number of teams have expressed an interest in his services, Sunderland are the only club to have tabled a formal offer to Dynamo officials.

Lens’ arrival will provide a considerable boost, with the 27-year-old forward offering some much-needed pace and creativity in the final third.

Sunderland’s recruitment team have also been considering a move for Republic of Ireland international Aiden McGeady, but Everton boss Roberto Martinez is adamant the midfielder will not be leaving Goodison Park this summer.

“With Aiden, there is nothing,” said Martinez. “Aiden McGeady is an exceptional footballer, and he has a talent that is very important for the squad. All we need now is to find a solution to that niggling hamstring problem that he has been carrying, and I hope that Aiden can enjoy his football.”

Sunderland played the opening game of their North American tour against Sacramento Republic in the early hours of this morning, with Seb Larsson hoping his international exertions at the end of last season will help him to hit the ground running.

Along with the rest of the Black Cats’ international contingent, Larsson was left out of the squad for last week’s friendly with Darlington, but having returned to training last week, the Swede is looking forward to easing himself back into action in the United States.

“I had a couple of weeks with Sweden, playing two games, so I feel quite fit because I didn’t really have the time to lose that fitness,” said Larsson. “But it is good to be back.

“Pre-season is about getting the team together. Adam (Matthews) and a few of the younger players have joined up, so it is good to get everyone together and bond as a team.

“I think everyone is really pleased that the head coach has stayed, so we’re happy about that and looking forward to the new season.”