Phil Bardsley completes move to Stoke
Stoke have signed defender Phil Bardsley on a three-year deal, the Barclays Premier League side have announced.
The 28-year-old Scotland international will join the Potters on July 1 following the expiration of his contract at Sunderland, where he has spent the last six-and-a-half years.
The Black Cats had hoped to extend Bardsley's stay on Wearside after re-opening contract talks after initial discussions came to nothing, but must now admit defeat.
Bardsley joined Sunderland from home-town club Manchester United in a £2m switch in January 2008 after loan moves to Royal Antwerp, Burnley, Rangers, Aston Villa and Sheffield United and established himself as first-choice right-back.
However, he fell out of favour with former boss Paolo Di Canio and seemed destined to leave the club last summer, when only a foot injury scuppered a proposed move to Fulham.
Di Canio took a dim view of the player being pictured lying on the floor of a casino covered in £50 notes, and was even less impressed with an ill-advised tweet after the club's 1-0 home defeat by Fulham on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
However, he was handed a clean slate by new manager Gus Poyet after he replaced the controversial Italian in October last year, and rehabilitated himself to such an extent that he started the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City in March.
Manager Mark Hughes believes Bardsley will be a valuable addition to his squad.
He told stokecityfc.com: "I'm really pleased to bring Phil in to the club.
"He's a player of great Premier League experience who I think will bring added quality to the squad.
"He has plenty of qualities that will improve us and help move the Football Club forward to where we want to be.
"Phil was genuinely excited to join and I'm delighted to bring him in as his personality and desire will shine in the dressing room."
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