Sunderland boss David Moyes has returned to former club Manchester United to complete a £5.5million double swoop for defenders Paddy McNair and Donald Love.
The 21-year-olds have both put pen to paper on four-year deals and take Sunderland’s number of summer signings to three.
Moyes said: “Paddy is a young, athletic player who is improving all the time. He has experience for Northern Ireland and we want to bring as many international players to the club as we can. Donald comes highly recommended and is another young player who I hope can develop and improve here.”
He added: “I want to add some young players to the squad as well as some senior players and both of them have got really good potential and the opportunity to improve.
“I want to bring in players who are here for the long term as well as the short and hopefully these two are here for the long term.”
Central defender McNair heads for Wearside having played his part in Northern Ireland’s successful Euro 2016 finals campaign after breaking into the first team at Old Trafford, while Scotland Under-21 international full-back Love, who can also play in midfield, tasted both Premier League and Europa League action with United last season.
They follow £8million Senegal defender Papy Djilobodji to the Stadium of Light and their arrival will further fuel speculation that Lamine Kone could be on his way out of the club.
The 27-year-old trained on Wednesday despite Everton remaining keen on the £18million-rated centre-back, who has grown frustrated that the improved contract he believed he was to be offered is yet to appear on the table.
Sunderland fans are desperate for the former Lorient player to stay, but with Chelsea among a series of clubs also monitoring his situation, their hopes could yet be dashed.
Meanwhile, the Black Cats are also hopeful of landing United midfielder Adnan Januzaj on a season-long loan deal with their efforts to strengthen the squad Moyes inherited from Sam Allardyce finally starting to bear fruit.