CHRIS COLEMAN has been confirmed as Sunderland’s new manager after signing a two-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light.

The former Wales manager met his new squad this morning, and took charge of his first training session along with his new assistant, Kit Symons.

The 47-year-old will preside over his first game on Tuesday, with Sunderland heading to Aston Villa as they look to haul themselves off the foot of the Championship table.

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“It’s an honour to be appointed the manager of Sunderland and I’m over the moon that the club believes I am the right man,” said Coleman, who led Wales to the semi-finals of last summer’s European Championships in France.

“The club worked incredibly hard to make sure we were a good fit and to show me the potential that can be achieved here.

“I believe that every person at this football club, every player and every supporter has a part to play in getting us back to where we belong.”

Sunderland looked at a number of managerial options in the wake of Simon Grayson’s dismissal, with Michael O’Neill and Paul Heckingbottom both featuring on their shortlist.

However, chief executive Martin Bain opted for Coleman after it became clear he was leaving his former position in charge of Wales, and is delighted to have persuaded the former Fulham and Coventry boss to take over at the Stadium of Light.

“The football club has conducted a thorough process over the last three weeks to identify the best manager for the job, before and after which Chris was the clear first choice,” said Bain.

“We are delighted that he and Kit Symons, his assistant manager, have joined us, and are now focused on working together to get the football club moving in the right direction.”