Sunderland sign Harper on short-term deal


Sunderland have signed ex-Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper until the end of the season.

Harper joins as a free agent having been released by Hull City following their relegation from the Premier League at the conclusion of the 2014-15 campaign.

The 40-year-old spent the majority of his career at Sunderland's arch-rivals Newcastle, predominantly serving as understudy to Shay Given and Tim Krul during his time at St James' Park.

He moves to the Stadium of Light to boost Sunderland's options following the sale of Costel Pantilimon to Watford this week.

Harper will likely be third choice behind Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce told the club's official website: "Steve will be a positive addition to our goalkeeping stable. He has vast experience at the top level and that can only be beneficial to Vito and Jordan as they continue to develop.

"He knows the club well and, as an Easington lad born and bred, he needs no introduction to Sunderland."