SUNDERLAND could soon have the man responsible for bringing Virgil van Dijk to Britain as the club's new director of football.

Reports north of the border claim the Black Cats are close to sealing a deal that sees John Park move to Wearside.

Park is also wanted back at Celtic where, between 2007 and 2016, he is credited with finding the likes of van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and Ki Sung-yueng.

But Sunderland look to have beaten the Bhoys to securing the services of Park, even though Neil Lennon would be keen if he lands the manager's job on a permanent basis.

Lennon is believed to want Park to replace former Sunderland director of football Lee Congerton after he left the Scottish champions this week to team up with Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City again.

Park is thought to be close to agreeing a five-year deal at Sunderland, where head of recruitment Tony Coton has been in charge of scouting.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross will be speaking at his pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of Thursday's play-off semi-final second leg at Portsmouth.