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Confirmed: Steve Harper Signs

Sunderland have announced the signing of Steve Harper on a short-term deal.

Sunderland were left with just two senior goalkeepers, Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford, after Costel Pantilimon left the club to join Watford for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday evening.

Sam Allardyce has moved to rectify that situation by bringing in a vastly experienced 'keeper as third choice, as we speculated would happen earlier in the week, by signing ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper on a deal until the end of the season.

The Easington-born 40-year-old will provide back-up to both Mannone and Pickford, as well as acting as a mentor to his younger colleagues;

I'm looking forward to seeing Jordan. I know he's a local lad like myself whose very driven with a big future ahead of him.

If I can help him make the right choices, and give him a little nudge along the way, as well as helping Vito, then that's part of the reason why I'm here.

I played against Sunderland twice in my first season at Hull and I remember when they were down to nine men, Vito was unbelievable. He was flying around all over the shop and had a sensational display.

They are two good goalkeepers.

I know I'm going to be third choice keeper, obviously.

Jordan and Vito have a good battle going on there. Vito is the number one at the minute and I know I'm not going to oust the pair of them in my short time here.

But my job is to help in and around the place - not just the goalkeepers, but in the dressing room

Although Harper is unlikely to step onto the pitch in Sunderland colours, if he can pass along some of his experience, then it could be a shrewd signing. Especially with some very promising young goalkeepers on our books, in Pickford, Max Stryjek and James Talbot.

Allardyce was happy to add some extra experience to the squad, telling;

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.

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