Larsson seals Black Cats move

The Black Cats confirmed last week that the 26-year-old Sweden

international would be playing his football on Wearside next

season, but his move would not officially go through until today

following the expiry of his contract at St Andrew’s. Larsson joins

Ahmed Elmohamady, Connor Wickham and Ji-Dong-won at the Stadium of

Light with manager Steve Bruce having made significant early

progress in his rebuilding plan. Bruce signed the former Arsenal

trainee for the Blues for £1million in January 2007 after a

successful loan spell, and he went on to make 170 appearances.

However, he did not agree a new contract with last season’s Carling

Cup winners and, with a series of suitors on his trail, Bruce, who

tried to sign him in January, has managed to get his man this time

around. The manager said: “Seb was a fantastic young player for me

at Birmingham and he has matured into a very good midfielder. “He

has been courted by a number of top clubs over the summer – both in

England and across Europe – so we are naturally delighted that he

has chosen to come to Sunderland.” Larsson and his new team-mates

are due to report for pre-season training next week with the club

pursuing further targets as they attempt to build upon last

season’s top-10 finish in the Barclays Premier League. The club

also confirmed their fifth summer signing after goalkeeper Keiren

Westwood signed a three-year deal. The 26-year-old Republic of

Ireland international agreed a Bosman free transfer to the Stadium

of Light last week, but the move could not be finalised until his

contract at Coventry expired at midnight. Westwood will battle with

Belgian youngster Simon Mignolet for a place in Bruce’s starting

line-up with £9million man Craig Gordon recovering from a knee

injury. Bruce said: “Keiren has proven to be an exceptional

goalkeeper both in the Championship and at international level and

he has certainly been one of the best in this country outside of

the Premier League in recent seasons. “We are obviously delighted

that Keiren sees his future here at Sunderland, and we are looking

forward to him joining what is a talented group of goalkeepers at

the club.” Westwood began his career at Manchester City, but

established himself as a first-team player at Carlisle, where he

made more than 130 league appearances before winning a

£500,000 move to Coventry in June 2008. He has seven full

international caps and excelled for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men when

deputising for the injured Shay Given last season.