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By ESPN Staff

Higginbotham makes return to Stoke City

Danny Higginbotham has rejoined Stoke from Sunderland on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, the club have announced on their website.

The 29-year-old returns to the Britannia Stadium after just one year with the Black Cats following a £3million move in the summer of 2007.

The defender made 22 appearances in the north east and scored three goals and was in the starting line-up as Sunderland beat Tottenham 1-0 at White Hart Lane last month.

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club's website, stokecityfc.co.uk: 'Danny is a player we know very well and we are very happy to have him back here.'

Scholes continued: 'His character and leadership qualities are both absolutely first class and we know exactly what we are getting from him.

'He was a huge success here last time and he did very well at Sunderland, so to get him back here is brilliant news for us.'

Higginbotham spent one season with the Potters in his first spell with the club, making almost 50 appearances and has also played at Southampton and Derby after starting his career as a trainee at Manchester United.

Stoke have signed midfielder Tom Soares from Crystal Palace for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old came through the academy at Selhurst Park and made more than 150 appearances for Palace while he has also played four times for England Under-21s.

Soares prefers a central midfield role but can also play on the wing.

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