The inside story behind Lee Cattermole's move to VVV Venlo

Lee Cattermole made the first move to join VVV Venlo after leaving Sunderland – and didn’t haggle over his salary.
Lee Cattermole.Lee Cattermole.
Lee Cattermole.

The former Black Cats skipper left the Stadium of Light in the summer after reaching an agreement on the remainder of his £35,000-a-week contract.

And VVV’s football manager Stan Valckx has revealed the negotiations to sign midfielder Cattermole were the ‘easiest’ he had ever been involved in – after the player’s agent rang him up asking if he could join the Eredivisie outfit.

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The 30-year-old always wanted to play aboard before he retired and the Dutch top flight side’s manager has revealed how the talks came about.

Valckx told Voetbal International: "An unknown number called me this summer. It turned out to be Lee’s management, whether he could play football at VVV.

"Why? He was looking for a nice club in a nice competition, that’s the real story.

"We agreed that he would train for a week. We then gave a salary indication. No problem. The artificial grass? No problem.

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"Everything was arranged in two or three hours - this was perhaps the easiest transfer I have ever made."

Cattermole made his debut for the Dutch side in a 2-1 win against Utrecht, receiving a customary yellow card just 11 minutes after his introduction as a substitute before going on to earn his team all three points with a last-ditch tackle as Utrecht pressed for an equaliser.