Zurich Grasshoppers defender off to Sunderland

Bernt Haas (centre) is off to show English football fans his skills with the ball Keystone

Zurich Grasshoppers defender, Bernt Haas, has been transferred to British Premier League side Sunderland for a fee of SFr1.9 million. The 23-year-old signed a four-year contract with the club.

This content was published on August 3, 2001 - 13:30

Haas impressed the Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, during a trial at the club's Stadium of Light earlier in the year.

He looks set to make his Sunderland debut on Saturday in a friendly match away to West Bromwich Albion.

"I am delighted to move to a club such as this," said Haas. "I know all about the Premiership and how well Sunderland did last year. Hopefully, I can help them improve on it."

Haas is Sunderland's fifth signing of the summer and joins Frenchmen Lilian Laslandes and David Bellion, Argentine Nicolas Medina and Dutch defender Baki Mercimek.

Speaking on the club's website, Reid said: "He's been playing football so I wouldn't think twice about playing him at West Bromwich."

"I think he's got enough to handle English football. He's over six feet tall, is a good athlete and can handle the ball.

"The way football is going in the Premiership you look at a player's physical strength as well as his ability, and this boy's got both," said Reid.

"We've watched him over half-a-dozen times and we think he'll do well in this league."

Haas joined the Grasshoppers eight years ago and since that time has played 165 games with the side and scored six goals.

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