Black Cats sign Kenny

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Sunderland have completed the signing of Kenny Cunningham on a one-year deal.

The Republic of Ireland international left Birmingham City in the summer following the club's relegation but has wasted little time in being fixed up with a new challenge for next term.

Cunningham has been training with the Black Cats for the past week and has now put the finishing touches on a deal that binds him to the North East outfit.

Sunderland's chairman-in-waiting Niall Quinn believes Cunningham has the type of experience and calibre to help the club make an immediate return to the top flight.

''He will set the standard for the other players in a similar way to Steve Bould did here, whoever the manager is,'' Quinn told the club's official website.

''It was clear that we needed leadership on the field and when Kenny became available it was too good an opportunity to miss.''

While Cunningham's arrival has given the club a boost, speculation is rife that Julio Arca could be heading in the opposite direction out of the exit door.

The talented Argentine schemer has been linked with Middlesbrough in recent weeks and such talk has been fuelled further by the fact he has been left out of Sunderland's squad for a pre-season friendly on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Kelvin Davis' switch to Southampton is seemingly now in doubt as the goalkeeper has been included in the party to face Rotherham.