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Nicolas Lombaerts: 'I turned down Sunderland'

Zenit St Petersburg defender Nicolas Lombaerts claims that he turned down a move to Sunderland rather than fail a medical with the club.

Nicolas Lombaerts has rejected reports that he failed a medical with Sunderland by claiming that he turned the club down instead.

It was reported on Wednesday that the Belgian defender's potential move from Zenit St Petersburg fell through because of a problem with his fitness.

A fee of £5m was understood to have been agreed between Sunderland and Zenit for the 30-year-old's services.

However, Lombaerts has now insisted that the transfer was called off because he did not want to join the Premier League club.

"I took the decision myself," he told Sporza. "I didn't want to join Sunderland. The story about a failed medical is untrue. I want to stay in Russia. It's a thoughtful decision. With Zenit, we fight for trophies every season."

Lombaerts, who has won 35 international caps, joined Zenit from Gent in 2007.

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Nicolas Lombaerts of FC Zenit St. Petersburg celebrates after their victory over PFC CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Zenit St. Petersburg at the Arena Khimki Stadium on November 01, 2014
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