REECE JAMES has completed a deal that sees him leave Sunderland to join League One rivals Doncaster Rovers.

The full-back had been in discussions with Doncaster officials since the start of the week, and has signed a two-year deal at the Keepmoat Stadium.

James’ Sunderland contract was due to expire at the end of this month, but the 25-year-old had an option that would automatically entitle him to a further 12 months at the Stadium of Light.

Earlier this month, Stewart Donald suggested James would be triggering the clause, but the left-back has subsequently opted to look elsewhere.

Doncaster have lost full-back Danny Andrew to Fleetwood Town, and their boss, Grant McCann, immediately approached James with an offer of a two-year deal.

“We’ve known Danny was out of contract for some time, so have been exploring other avenues for the past few months to ensure we knew what we would do if he left,” said McCann.

“We’ve reached an agreement with another club to sign a left-back on a permanent deal. This player has experience in League One and will be a valuable addition to the club.”

James, who made 34 appearances in all competitions for Sunderland last season, is expected to finalise personal terms within the next 24 hours.

His departure will strengthen the likelihood of Denver Hume starting next season as the Black Cats’ first-choice left-back, with the academy product having signed a new contract at the end of last term.

Bryan Oviedo is also still on Sunderland’s books, but the Costa Rica international looks all-but-certain to move on this summer, with the Black Cats keen to remove his wage from the books. Club Brugge, FC Copenhagen and Rosenborg are vying to sign Oviedo, who is currently on international duty at the Concacaf Gold Cup.

If Oviedo and James both leave, Jack Ross will be keen to sign another left-back to provide competition for Hume.