Sunderland have completed the signing of Senegal international Kader Mangane on loan until the end of the season.
The Black Cats have reportedly agreed a deal with his club Al-Hilal and he is set to move to the Premier League.
Although it will initially be a temporary move, there will be an option to secure a permanent switch, should Martin O’Neill be impressed by his performances.
The ex-Aston Villa chief confirmed that Mangane is set to join the club soon as he looks to build his squad ahead of the second run-in.
He believes that the defender will improve his squad and add a physical dimension to their play:
“Kader is player who will add to the overall strength of our squad and give us options. He will improve competition for places and we are delighted to welcome him to the club.” He is quoted by the club’s official website.
Mangane will face competition from the likes of Carlos Cuellar, John O’Shea and Wes Brown for a starting spot, but O’Neill is adamant that the 29-year-old is willing to fight for a spot in his plans:
“He is prepared to come and battle for places in the team so that’s encouraging.” He is quoted by Sky Sports.
“We’re just adding competition for places and that will make us a bit more healthy.”
Mangane spent much of his career in Switzerland before joining Ligue 1 club Lens in 2007.
Some impressive performances tempted Rennes to swoop for his signature after one full season in France and he went on to make over 100 first-team appearances for them.
He left the club last year to move to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.