Congerton happy with business so far

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Sporting director pleased to have re-signed Larsson and Pickford along with new arrivals.

Lee Congerton is happy with the business completed by Sunderland so far – both internally and externally.

The Black Cats were quick off the mark with upcoming free agents, securing deals for West Brom’s Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez of Wigan and Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

Seb wanted to stay and it was clear he was keen to stay, but he wanted to hear what the strategy and aims of the club were

- Lee Congerton on Larsson

All three will officially become Sunderland players on July 1 before reporting for pre-season training.

Meanwhile Seb Larsson and youngster Jordan Pickford both penned new deals, along with head coach Gus Poyet and his coaching staff.

“We’re very pleased with what we’ve done so far,” said Congerton, the club’s sporting director.

“Seb was a big player for us to get re-signed – one of the reasons we got out of trouble [last season] was his performances in our midfield.

“We’ve also been fortunate to sign Jordan Pickford on a long-term contract.

“He’s a home-grown player and we want home-grown players given the opportunity.

“At the same time we’ve also been successful in tying Gus and his team down for another couple of years, which was important to us to get some stability at this football club.”

Meanwhile Congerton revealed that Larsson agreed to extend his stay after hearing of the club’s vision for the future.

The Swede has made 121 appearances in red and white since joining the club in summer 2011 and has now extended his stay for a further three years.

“Seb wanted to stay and it was clear he was keen to stay, but he wanted to hear what the strategy and aims of the club were.

“He’s been here a long time. I think Seb was happy with what he heard from Gus and myself and wants to be a part of that.

“We’re delighted to have Seb on board.”