Last Updated: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 14:18
Martin O'Neill could re-ignite Sunderland's interest in Swedish defender Mikael Lustig after his midweek scouting trip to Stockholm.
The Black Cats boss was among the 50,000 crowd at the newly-opened Friends Arena in Stockholm on Wednesday night who were treated to four-goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic's stunning stoppage-time finish which will go down as one of the all-time great strikes.
And while speculation rages as to who it was the Sunderland boss was watching, it is understood that he has been following the impressive form of Lustig for Celtic very closely this season.
"Yes, it was a scouting trip," he told the Gazette. "I went there only for the game, so I didn't see much of Sweden. It was a quick fly-in, fly-out job.
"Mostly I prefer to see players playing for their clubs - I think club level tends to be everything when it comes to assessing players.
"But where that's impractical then I'm prepared to see them playing for their country, and that was the case this week."
Sunderland were interested in Lustig a year ago when he was at Norway's Rosenborg but Celtic snapped him up in the January transfer window on a free transfer instead.
The 25-year-old caught O'Neill's eye with his storming performance in the Champions League clash at Spartak Moscow and was also impressive in both clashes against Barcelona - matches followed closely by the manager.
Celtic are unlikely to let Lustig go so soon after signing him, even if they somehow fail to get through the Champions League group stage, but the player may fancy the idea of linking up with Seb Larsson down the right for both club and country.
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