Manager Kevin Blackwell revealed that Sheffield United edged out Portsmouth in a race to secure the services of Sunderland defender Nyron Nosworthy.
Blackwell has signed the 29-year-old on loan until the end of the season as a replacement for Matthew Kilgallon, who joined the Black Cats last month.
Nosworthy could go straight into the Blades' starting line-up at Watford on Tuesday night as fellow centre-halves Marcel Seip (hamstring) and Andrew Taylor (groin) are injured.
Blackwell said: "We needed a quality centre-half who had pace, and Nyron is a terrific defender who has played a lot of Premier League games with Sunderland.
"He has a good reputation in the game, fits the bill and we had to fight off competition from Portsmouth to get him.
"We first spoke last Friday before we left for West Brom and he was very impressed with what he saw down here."