SUNDERLAND have confirmed the signing of Santiago Vergini on a season-long loan, and the Argentinian defender is part of the squad that has travelled to Bishop Auckland for tonighht's friendly against Real Betis.

Having spent the second half of last season on loan on Wearside, Vergini, who can play at centre-half or right-back, has agreed to rejoin the Black Cats.

The 26-year-old spent the summer back in his native Argentina, and helped the Argentinian national side with their preparations for the World Cup finals.

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Vergini said: "Firstly, I'm very thankful to the club for giving me this opportunity. I am very happy to be here once again. I'm also very happy to see so many recognisable faces.

“The challenge for me is to become part of this team, and offer all I can so we have a good season. The feeling that I've had here at this club has been very good. It’s a big club."

Vergini is Sunderland's sixth signing of the summer, following Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez, Patrick van Aanholt and Jack Rodwell.