Sunderland free up wage bill for possible arrivals after selling Costel Pantilimon to Watford

Costel Pantilimon has joined Watford from Sunderland on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Costel Pantilimon
Costel Pantilimon

The giant Romanian was being tracked by the Hornets, with interest from Spanish side Espanyol too.

And Watford have today confirmed they have secured his signature, with Pantilimon joining for an undisclosed fee.

The Romanian international moved to Sunderland in July 2014 from Manchester City andmade 49 appearances for the Black Cats during his time at the club.

A club statment read: “Sunderland AFC would like to thank Costel and wish him the very best for the future at his new club.”

Pantilimon had fallen down the pecking order at the Stadium of Light after the return to the club of Jordan Pickford.

The England Under-21 international was in goal against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, with Vito Mannone on the bench.

Pantilimon was the highest earner of the three keepers, and as a result was the one Sam Allardyce wanted to get off the wage bill.

Allardyce, who has signed Jan Kirchhoff and Dame N’Doye this month, admitted last week that he could add to his squad again if he could ship out some players.

He said: “I would like to get two more if I can but I’m bordering on the generosity of the owner if I don’t get anybody out.

“And also, I’ve got to be very aware of the wage scenario today with the regulations.”