Sunderland beat Celtic to sign exciting defender on four-and-a-half-year contract

Sunderland have completed the signing of Northern Irish right-back Trai Hume on a four-and-a-half-year contract – with a club option of a further year.

The 19-year-old will move to Wearside from Northern Irish champions Linfield FC for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £200,000, following interest from several clubs in England as well as SPL side Celtic.

Stoke boss Michael O'Neill was considering a late move for Hume, yet the player was keen to move to Sunderland after watching the Black Cats beat Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 at the Stadium of Light.

An attacking right-back, Hume has impressed for Linfield this season, scoring three goals and providing two assists in 17 games under the management of former Sunderland striker David Healy.

New Sunderland signing Trai Hume playing for Linfield FC.

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The Northern Ireland Under-21 international will be available for the Black Cats’ trip to Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.

Speaking to Sunderland’s official website, Hume said: “It feels amazing to be here at this massive club and I can’t wait to get out there in front of the fans with my new team-mates.

"I came to the Sheffield Wednesday match and it was absolutely bouncing – I loved every second of it.

"I’ve played over 50 games in the Irish league and I think that will help me settle in, but this is the right time for me to test myself in a new environment and this is the right club.

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"Sunderland are aiming for bigger and better things and I can’t wait to get going."

Black Cats boss Lee Johnson added: “We have been tracking Trai since the summer window and we are delighted to welcome him to Sunderland AFC.

"We are looking forward to working with him and seeing how he adapts to English football and the challenges of League One, as well as having a good calibre of player around him.

"We have to give him time, but we also have to push him as hard as we can to integrate him within the first team as soon as possible.”

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Sunderland have been left short in the full-back area following a long-term injury to Niall Huggins, while Carl Winchester has been sidelined with a minor knock.