SUNDERLAND have completed their third signing of the transfer window, with midfielder Josh Scowen having made a permanent move from QPR.

The Black Cats have recruited the 26-year-old for an undisclosed fee, having considered a number of midfield options in the last few days.

Phil Parkinson had inquired about Greg Docherty, Oliver Norburn and Richie Smallwood, but has opted to bring in Scowen, whose transfer was finalised late last night.

The Sunderland boss beat off competition from a number of League One rivals to sign the midfielder, who has made 18 Championship appearances for QPR this season, scoring in this month’s FA Cup win over Swansea City.

Scowen has a proven track record in League One, having been a key member of the Barnsley side that won promotion via the play-offs in 2016 as well as triumphing in the final of the EFL Trophy.

Having started his career with Wycombe Wanderers, Scowen made more than 100 appearances for Barnsley before joining QPR in 2017.

He made 103 appearances for the London club, but has opted to move to Sunderland, where he will compete with the likes of Max Power, George Dobson, Grant Leadbitter, Lynden Gooch and Duncan Watmore for a place in Parkinson’s preferred starting side.

“I’m delighted to welcome Josh to the club,” said Parkinson. “We identified him early in the window and it took a while to get the deal over the line as we were competing with several other clubs for his signature.

“We have been patient, and the chairman and the board have worked hard to finalise a deal this afternoon.

“Josh has a promotion from League One on his CV and a lot of Championship experience. He can play in a number of different roles and he will bring real quality to the squad, especially in that midfield area.”

Scowen, who will train with his new team-mates for the first time this morning, is available to make his Sunderland debut in tomorrow night’s League One game at Tranmere Rovers.

“I’m over the moon to be here and I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “I just want to show the gaffer what I can do and get in the team, so that I can help the club keep winning games. I feel fit and I’m raring to go.”

Ideally, Parkinson would like to make at least one more signing before the transfer window closes on Friday night, with another left-back topping his list of priorities.

At this stage, he does not feel he needs another striker, but that could change if either Marc McNulty or Will Grigg was to move on.

McNulty’s loan deal from Reading could be terminated to facilitate an alternative arrangement, and Hibs boss Jack Ross is keen to be reunited with the 27-year-old, who was his main summer target when he was still Sunderland boss.

McNulty spent the second half of last season on loan at Hibs, and is bound to be concerned at his recent lack of involvement on Wearside.

He was an unsused substitute in Friday’s goalless draw with Doncaster Rovers, and finds himself behind Charlie Wyke and recent signing Kyle Lafferty in Parkinson’s attacking pecking order.

Ross is keen to boost his firepower at Easter Road, and is expected to discuss McNulty’s position with officials at Sunderland and Reading in the next couple of days.

“We are pushing to try to get two players in, and I am hopeful of at least two this week,” confirmed Ross at the weekend. “If we do that, we will be in a better position.”

Grigg’s future also remains uncertain, with Swindon Town and Salford City both still interested in securing his services. However, both clubs would need Sunderland to pay a significant proportion of the Northern Irishman’s wages, something the Black Cats are reluctant to do.

Sunderland return to action at Tranmere tomorrow, and while the club’s initial allocation for the game has sold out, an additional 450 tickets will go on sale from the Stadium of Light box office this morning.

Tranmere’s Prenton Park pitch was in a dreadful condition for Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, but despite more rain being forecast, officials at the club are confident tomorrow’s game is not at risk.