Football: Schwarz joins Sunderland

Click to follow
The Independent Online
SUNDERLAND HAVE completed the signing of the Swedish international Stefan Schwarz for a club record fee of just under pounds 4m.

The 30-year-old midfielder has signed a four-year contract with the Wearsiders after agreeing to leave Valencia in Spain. The deal had appeared to be on the rocks earlier this week when Schwarz claimed there would be "social" difficulties in moving to the North-east.

"Sunderland has made a big impression on me already. The club has been very professional and really looked after my family and me," Schwarz said. "There are more important things than playing football and I had to make sure the social life for my family was right. The club has been very understanding and everybody has made a big impression on me."

Slaven Bilic's anticipated move back to West Ham has collapsed at the 11th hour. The Croatian defender had been expected to return from Everton in a move worth up to pounds 1m. But the deal was called off yesterday because of a medical hitch.

"It has just fallen through, unfortunately," Hammers manager Harry Redknapp said. "We sold him for pounds 4.5m two years ago so to get him back almost for free would have been fantastic business - a real bargain. But it didn't work out, which is a shame."

Bilic originally left West Ham to join Everton for a club record pounds 4.2m in May 1997.

George Georgiadis is leaving Newcastle to return home to Greece. The Magpies midfielder was due to meet officials from PAOK Salonika yesterday to discuss a pounds 500,000 move after a desperate year on Tyneside.

Celtic have been given the go-ahead to complete the pounds 2m signing of the 20-year-old Bulgarian international Stilian Petrov from CSKA Sofia after he won his appeal to be given a work permit by the Department of Education and Employment.

Manchester City are poised to net a pounds 3m shirt sponsorship deal from lifelong supporter Ian Livingstone, the executive chairman of the computer games company, Eidos.