Sunderland defender Reece James completes shock move to Doncaster Rovers
Reece James has completed a move to Doncaster Rovers.
The Sunderland left-back has signed a two-year deal to move to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Chairman Stewart Donald said last week that the 25-year-old had taken up an option in his contract to extend his Wearside stay for a further year.
But after suffering the disappointment of seeing star left-back Danny Andrew join Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town, Doncaster have moved quickly for James.
Sunderland will receive an undisclosed fee.
Speaking on Monday, Doncaster boss Grant McCann said his side were close to signing a replacement with significant League One experience.
“We agreed a deal with Danny and his agent which would have seen him rewarded for a good season, we wanted it signed before he got married then before he went on his honeymoon but it didn’t happen,” McCann said.
“We then provided a deadline for Danny to sign the contract as we wanted to resolve the situation but were subsequently told by the player’s agent he had received an alternative offer.
“Unfortunately that’s how football works, but we wish Danny well and thank him for his efforts last season.
"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.
“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 was a regular last season, making 34 appearances in all competitions. He missed the final two months of the campaign due to injury, however, making his last appearance in the Checkatrade Trophy final defeat to Portsmouth.
He faced competition for his place from Bryan Oviedo and Denver Hume, the latter signing a new long-term contract at the club earlier this year.
Hume looks set for a big role next season having been regularly praised for his efforts on and off the pitch by manager Jack Ross.