Ferdinand joins Sunderland
© AFP

Sunderland have signed West Ham United defender Anton Ferdinand for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old, the younger brother of Manchester United and England star Rio, agreed a four-year deal with the Premier League club to become manager Roy Keane's ninth addition since the end of last season.

"We needed to strengthen our defence and Anton is a great signing," Keane told Sunderland's official website. "He'll bring quality and competition for places which is what we want.

"Hopefully we can take him to another level here at Sunderland. He has come through the ranks at West ham and maybe just needs a change."

England U-21 centre-back Ferdinand, who is believed to have cost around £8 million, will miss Wednesday's League Cup tie at Nottingham Forest while he recovers from a hamstring strain. He could make his debut against Wigan Athletic on 13 September.

Ferdinand admitted it was a tough decision to leave Upton Park after spending so long at the London outfit. "It was hard leaving West Ham because I have been there for 16 years, but after meeting Roy Keane I knew it was time for a change," he said.

"This is a great challenge for me and I feel it is an exciting time at Sunderland. I think the move will do me good."

Ferdinand may not be the last arrival at the Stadium of Light before the transfer window closes on Monday. "I have one more player in mind and then that is the end of it for a few months at least," Keane said.