Pele joins Southampton

July 19, 2006

Southampton have completed the signing of centre-half Pele from Portuguese side Belenenses for an undisclosed fee.

Saints boss George Burley came close to capturing the 28-year-old in January and has finally got his man despite reported interest from south-coast rivals Portsmouth. Pele - whose full name is Pedro Miguel Cardoso Monteiro - passed a medical at St Mary's this morning and has signed a three-year deal.

The Portuguese defender has also been linked with moves to Newcastle and West Ham in the past and becomes Burley's fifth summer signing, joining Grzegorz Rasiak, Jermaine Wright, Marcelo Sarmiento and Bradley Wright-Phillips in a new-look Saints squad.

Burley, who is currently overseeing Saints' tour of Sweden, said: 'I am very pleased to have got him. He will stay in Southampton at the moment to work on his fitness because that comes before matches and he has only trained for a week so far.'

And Pele added: 'I am delighted to be joining Southampton. I have seen a lot of the English game on television and I think I will fit in well. I am really looking forward to playing here.

'Southampton are a big club who should be playing in the Premier League and I hope I can help them get back there this season.'