Zenden joins Sunderland for free

Sunderland sign the former Barcelona, Chelsea and Netherlands midfielder Boudewijn Zenden on a free transfer.

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SUNDERLAND // Sunderland signed former Netherlands midfielder Boudewijn Zenden on a free transfer today. The 33-year-old Zenden has signed until the end of the season and manager Steve Bruce hopes to field him against Liverpool in their Premier League clash on Saturday. The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona midfielder was able to move without a fee outside of the transfer window because he was without a club following the expiry of his contract with French club Marseille.

"The move happened fairly quickly," Bruce said. "Bolo came in and it was immediately obvious that he is still supremely fit. "Bolo's performances in training have persuaded me that he has a valuable role to play this season. He brings international class, a steadying influence and a wide breadth of experience." Zenden played 54 times for the Netherlands in a career that began with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. He then moved to Barca, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Liverpool, for whom he appeared in the 2007 Champions League final before a two-year stint at Marseille.

"His career is a testament to his quality and he gives us more depth in central midfield, which is a vital position," Bruce added. * AP