Carlos Cuellar joins Sunderland on a free transfer from Aston Villa

Defender Carlos Cuellar joins Sunderland on a two-year deal after his contract at Aston Villa expired this summer

carlos cuellar
Carlos Cuellar has signed a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light Photo: Sunderland AFC

carlos cuellar

Sunderland have confirmed the signing of Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar on a free transfer from Aston Villa.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year contract at the Stadium of Light and will be reunited with former manager Martin O’Neill on Wearside – four years after the current Sunderland boss took Cuellar to Aston Villa from Rangers.

The Madrid-born centre-half left Villa Park after the expiration of his current contract this summer having made 94 Premier League appearances for the Midlands club.

Cuellar began his career with Spanish regional fourth division outfit CD Calahorra, rising through the leagues with moves to Segunda División club Numancia and La Liga side Osasuna.

Former Glasgow Rangers manager Walter Smith took him to Ibrox in July 2007, where he won the Scottish Premier League Player of the Year award and Scottish Football Writers Association Player of the Year title in his one and only season in the Scottish capital, moving to the English top flight with O’Neill’s Villa.

The 60-year-old paid £7.8m to bring the Spanish defender to the Birmingham outfit in August 2008, but O’Neill’s departure and the subsequent arrival of Gerard Houllier and later Alex McCleish prompted Cuellar to fall down the pecking order.

Cuellar arrives in Sunderland ahead of this summer’s Peace Cup trip to Korea – a tournament he won in his native Spain under O’Neill in summer 2009.

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