Sunderland snare Saints star
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Sunderland have completed the signing of versatile Republic of Ireland star Rory Delap on a free transfer from Southampton.
Skysports.com confirmed on Tuesday that the 29-year-old was set to move to The Stadium of Light, and after the completion of a medical he has joined the Premiership outfit.
Delap has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Mick McCarthy's men after opting to leave Southampton to engage with a bitter relegation struggle on Wearside.
The star's departure represents a substantial loss for Saints after they shelled out £4 million to sign him from Derby back in 2001, and Delap admitted to being surprised at the course of events that has seen him move to the North East.
"I'm delighted to be here, I was a bit surprised when Sunderland showed an interest but as soon as they did I wanted it to happen," Delap told the club's official website.
"I know the gaffer, Taff (assistant boss Ian Evans) and Breeny (Gary Breen) from the Ireland set-up and I get the feeling it's a good friendly squad.
"I can't wait to get going."
McCarthy also welcomed his new signing, after beating the deadline to secure Delap's signature.
"Rory can play in a number of positions and it's always good to have that versatility," said the Black Cats boss.
"He's an experienced player and he'll be a good addition to our squad."