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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 24, 2007

Free-agent Cole pens one-year deal at Sunderland

Veteran striker Andy Cole has penned a one-year deal with Sunderland.

The 35-year-old left Portsmouth this summer, after manager Harry Redknapp agreed to cancel the final two years of his contract, and passed a medical with the Black Cats today.

Cole - who can count Manchester United, Newcastle and Manchester City among his former clubs - has agreed terms on a season-long-deal with Roy Keane's side.

Cole spent just one season with Pompey following a £500,000 move from Manchester City last summer, scoring four goals in 22 appearances.

He told the club's official website, www.safc.co.uk: 'I'm very excited to be here.

'It is another challenge and hopefully I can use my experience to help the young players at the club. I had a few options and I just thought this is a good one.

'I want to get a good week or 10 days' training under my belt and go from there.'

The former England international went on loan to Birmingham in the latter stages of the season, after complaining he was not getting enough games.

The arrival of David Nugent and John Utaka during the close season pushed Cole further down the Fratton Park pecking order. A move to Wearside would see the striker reunited with former Red Devils team-mate Keane.

Keane has recruited the vastly experienced forward in a bid to help school his fledgling Barclays Premier League strikeforce as the newly-promoted Black Cats bid to stay in the top flight.

The Sunderland manager said: 'He has had a fair few clubs, but I have played with Andy and been in the same dressing room and I know he likes to win.

'He is someone I have always got on all right with - it might be different now I am a manager, that might change.

'But a player with Andy's history - you look at his goals record and his experience, and he is someone we had to consider.

'If there is a player out there available who we think will help improve the squad then I have got to be interested.

'He will be here to help some of our other strikers. Michael Chopra has just come to the club, we have got David Connolly, Daryl Murphy - Stern John is a bit more experienced.

'People might say Andy is not a great talker and a big talker, but his actions and what he does on the training pitch, his movement will be important.

'He is quite happy to disagree with people and I don't mind that. But his experience will be vital.'

Cole, who was in the crowd at Wigan last weekend as the Black Cats lost 3-0 at the JJB Stadium, has been tracked by Keane for the last couple of weeks, but there was never any real chance of him joining the club in time to play a part in tomorrow's home clash with Liverpool.

The Wearsiders will step up their efforts to strengthen further during the remaining days of the transfer window.

Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham remains in their sights, but is proving difficult to prise away from the Britannia Stadium.

Keane will make a decision over former Republic of Ireland team-mate Ian Harte and Ghana international Sammy Kuffour, who are both training with the club, over the next few days.

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