Sunderland set to seal deal for second goalkeeper – in time for big Championship kick-off

Robbin Ruiter. Picture by Frank Reid.
Robbin Ruiter. Picture by Frank Reid.
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Sunderland should today complete their deal to sign free agent keeper Robbin Ruiter – in time to make his debut in Friday night’s season-opening Championship clash.

The 30-year-old Dutchman is due in Sunderland today to finalise his transfer, with the goalkeeper having reportedly verbally agreed a two-year contract to join the Black Cats.

Ruiter flew back to the Netherlands last week following a successful trial period, in which the 30-year-old impressed against both Bradford and Scunthorpe United in friendly matches.

He has been without a club since leaving Eredivisie outfit Utrecht at the end of last season and attracted interest from other British clubs, including Premier League side Burnley.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson was impressed with the stopper and looks to have convinced him to extend his stay.

Grayson said after the 5-0 weekend drubbing against Celtic that he was ‘hopeful’ a deal could be struck for Ruiter.

He should sign in plenty of time to be available to take on Derby County at the Stadium of Light on Friday night and will compete with £500,000 capture Jason Steele for the goalkeeper’s shirt.

Ex-Blackburn and Middlesbrough man Steele signed a four-year deal last week but struggled on his debut and insisted that he has been given no promises over his place in the side.

Ruiter’s arrival could clear the way for Max Stryjek to secure a loan deal. Oldham are interested in the 21-year-old.

Meanwhile, Derby boss Gary Rowett is hoping that Czech striker Matej Vydra will pose a stern test for whoever takes their place between the Sunderland goalposts.

The former Watford frontman has had a difficult start to his career with the Rams, but he has been on the scoresheet in pre-season, netting in the 2-1 weekend loss to Hoffenheim.

Rowett said: “Matej is a great option for us.

“I am probably the same as everyone else. I see the little flashes, I see the little bits on the ball and he excites me.

“We know we want him to try and do a little bit more off the ball to fit into how we want to play, but he gives you quality and he has got composure, as you saw with his goal (against Hoffenheim).

“I want to get him firing just as everyone else does.”