Sunderland sign top Premier keeper Costel Pantilimon on free transfer from Man City

NEW CAT: Costel Pantlimon
NEW CAT: Costel Pantlimon

SUNDERLAND have completed their third Bosman signing of the summer after sealing a deal for out-of-contract Manchester City stopper Costel Pantilimon.

The Romanian international arrived on Wearside earlier today to put the finishing touches to his move to the Stadium of Light and has now agreed a four-year deal with the Black Cats.

Pantilimon was released by the Premier League champions when his contract expired at the end of last season after deciding he no longer wanted to play second fiddle to England international Joe Hart.

And Sunderland have made their move for the 27-year-old, who will formally make his switch to the Stadium of Light on July 1.

“It is a great privilege and honour to join a club like Sunderland. They have an amazing history and tradition and of course passionate fans,” said Pantilimon, who follows fellow Bosmans Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez to the Stadium of Light this summer.

“When I left Manchester City it was important that I chose a club with good ambition and a manager who has the hunger and desire to take the team forward.

“After speaking with the boss, I knew this was the right place and he was the right man. I can’t wait to start.”

Sunderland’s goalkeeping options were depleted at the end of last season when out-of-contract pair Keiren Westwood and Oscar Ustari both left the club.

But Pantilimon will now provide intense competition with last year’s Player of the Season Vito Mannone to be Sunderland number one.

Sporting director Lee Congerton said: “Competition for places is healthy and brings out the best in players. We already have a great goalkeeper in Vito Manonne and another one now in Costel.

“Add to this youngster Jordan Pickford, who recently signed a long-term deal and we have a very strong stable of goalkeepers, which is vitally important in the top flight.”