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CONFIRMED: Sunderland Sign Liverpool Defender

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Sebastian Coates is officially sticking around.

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Sunderland have confirmed the permanent signing of Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee.

Sporting director Lee Congerton told the club website:

"Sebastian was an important part of the team under Dick last season and we are delighted that he has joined us on a permanent basis.

"He has Barclays Premier League experience, which is important and, after spending last season on loan with us, he will be able to settle into the team very quickly."

The transfer hasn't come as too much of a surprise as it's been widely reported for some time that a deal was close.  In fact, it always looked likely that the 24 year old would be the first signing through the door during the summer transfer window.

The former Nacional man struggled during the initial part of his loan spell last season, but under Dick Advocaat proved a pivotal part of the squad that once again avoided the drop.  The timing of Poyet's departure and the improvement in Coates' form may well be coincidental.  However, the defender could have benefited from a return to a more simplified approach under the Little General.

Although the fee is undisclosed, the Sunderland Echo are reporting that a figure of around £2mil is likely to be closer to the mark than the £4mil reported elsewhere.  At that price it certainly feels like a steal and proves very little financial risk for us going forward.

Let's hope that Coates continues with the fine displays evidenced during the last nine games and cements his place as one half of the central defence pairing.  Questions will now inevitably turn to just who will be playing alongside him for the 2015/16 season.