Sunderland confirm signing of Younes Kaboul

Younes Kaboul.
Younes Kaboul.

Younes Kaboul’s £3million move to Sunderland has been confirmed, to complete the Black Cats’ defensive overhaul.

Kaboul has penned a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light after Sunderland wasted no time in initiating Plan B for a new centre half, following the collapse of Nicolas Lombaerts’ switch from Zenit St Petersburg earlier this week.

“I’m delighted to be a Sunderland player and it’s an honour to join this club,” said Kaboul.

Spurs had been willing to let club captain Kaboul leave White Hart Lane after he fell out of favour with boss Mauricio Pochettino, and immediately accepted Sunderland’s bid for the 29-year-old.

Kaboul becomes the third new defensive arrival at Sunderland this summer after the capture of fellow centre-half Sebastian Coates and full-back Adam Matthews.

“I’m delighted to be a Sunderland player and it’s an honour to join this club,” said Kaboul.

“I would like to thank Lee Congerton and the Head Coach for making this move possible and I can’t wait to start playing for the Sunderland supporters.”

Despite troubles with injuries over recent years, Kaboul will arrive at the Stadium of Light as a proven Premier League performer - seven years after Sunderland’s move for the Frenchman infamously fell through.

When Sunderland had a bid accepted by Spurs during Roy Keane’s tenure back in 2008, Kaboul’s agent, Rudy Raba, remarked that he wouldn’t join Sunderland “even if there was an earthquake”.

But with Sunderland now an established Premier League side, the Black Cats have landed Kaboul as their second signing in the space of 24 hours after Dutch international Jeremain Lens arrived in an £8million move.

Head coach Dick Advocaat said: “He is a very experienced player, which is what we need.

He has shown that in his time at Spurs and he will be a very good addition to our squad.”

Sporting Director Lee Congerton added: “In Younes we have signed an established Premier League player with pace and power at the back, which are qualities required in the modern game.

“We’re pleased that he’s agreed to join the club and he will bring good competition to the squad.”

Sunderland’s focus is now entirely on the other end of the pitch, with a creative attacking midfielder at the top of the club’s priority list after Stewart Downing’s decision to drop out of the Premier League to rejoin Middlesbrough.

Advocaat wants a midfield schemer capable of unlocking an opposition defence after only relegated Burnley scored fewer goals than Sunderland last season.

A new striker is also on Sunderland’s radar, although that is likely to depend on offloading one of the four frontmen at Advocaat’s disposal - probably Steven Fletcher or Danny Graham, who only have a year remaining on their contracts.

However, this week’s double capture of Kaboul and Lens represents significant progress in the transfer market from Sunderland.

The duo are both expected to join Sunderland in Canada, with the Black Cats heading to Toronto after their final friendly here in California against Club de Futbol Pachuca in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, Ajax boss Frank De Boer has confirmed that he was interested in signing Lens prior to the Dutch international’s switch to the Stadium of Light.

However, the Dutch giants were priced out of the move due to Ajax’s lofty asking price for the 27-year-old.

“The price tag was too much,” admitted De Boer.