Free agent Carlos Cuellar joins Sunderland



By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor



Spanish-born defender Cuellar, who can play anywhere across the back four, spent nearly five full seasons at Villa Park


Sunderland have signed Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar on a two-year deal after his contract at Aston Villa expired.

He has been reunited with Martin O’ Neill– for the second time– after he worked with him at Aston Villa, who bought him from Rangers for £7.8 million in 2008.

Cuellar, who also played for Osasuna and Rangers earlier in his career, was a record for an overseas defender for the Villans when he joined – making 123 appearances in a four-year spell, scoring 9 goals.

The 30-year old becomes O'Neill's first permanent signing since taking over as manager in December 2011.

Injuries, as well as falling out of favour with managers Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish, resulted in Cuellar making only 27 league starts in his last two seasons at Villa Park.

He was close to returning to Rangers last summer, but the move broke down due to fears over Cuellar's fitness record.

The move comes after Sunderland allowed George McCartney to return to West Ham on a two-year deal, and they also lost Wayne Bridge – whose loan spell from Manchester City has ended.


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