SIMON Mignolet has completed his move to Liverpool after agreeing personal terms on a five-year deal with the Merseysiders, writes Chris Young.
Mignolet’s departure from Sunderland was confirmed tonight for an undisclosed fee, which is thought to be an initial £9million, that could rise as high as £12m.
Sunderland agreed a deal with Liverpool for the Belgian stopper last weekend and he becomes the second Black Cats player in two years to move to Anfield in a big money move after Jordan Henderson’s £19m switch in 2011.
Mignolet will now fight with Pepe Reina to be first-choice Liverpool stopper, but the 24-year-old is confident he can rise to the challenge.
“I’ve been in big competitions wherever I’ve been - in Belgium with the national team and in Sunderland with Craig Gordon and Keiren Westwood, who are international goalies,” said Mignolet.
“Now it’s the same again with Pepe and with Brad (Jones).
“It’s a challenge but that’s what you want. You want to play in the big games, you want to play for a big club and to play with pressure.
“I’m very confident in myself and I can’t wait to get the first clean sheet under my belt.”
Mignolet made 101 appearances for Sunderland during three seasons at the Stadium of Light after joining from Belgian outfit St-Truiden in the summer of 2010.
Black Cats head coach Paolo Di Canio has hailed Mignolet’s stunning form from last season and has pledged to invest the money from the stopper’s sale.
Di Canio said: “Simon is a fantastic footballer, a fantastic professional and a fantastic lad and I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the team last season.
“He was crucial to what we achieved and he goes with the very best wishes of everyone at the club.
“I would like to assure our fans that there is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes.
“Our aim is to build a competitive squad for the new season and this deal will give us further ability to strengthen the side.”