Sunderland have completed the signing of Portuguese goalkeeper Mika from Primeira Liga side Boavista, after being granted special permission by FIFA to finalise the transfer despite the window having closed one week ago.
Mika has put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Black Cats, making the move his first foray into football outside of Portugal. The 25-year-old began his senior career with União Leiria, before going on to appear for Benfica B, Atlético Clube de Portugal and finally Boavista.
In a goodbye video posted on Boavista's Facebook page Mika said that the move was one he could not turn down, stating that it is "a dream of mine to play in the Premier League."
The keeper made 55 appearances for Boavista during a two year spell with the Primeira Liga club, acting as their first-choice between the sticks in that time. The transfer has taken a little longer than expected, as both clubs attempted to get the deal over the line prior to the transfer window closing on August 31.
A much-needed pardon
A technical error on Boavista's end meant that the deal did not go through in time, although after appealing to FIFA it was deemed that both clubs had met the necessary requirements and that the transfer would have been completed in time but for the error.
This allowed both Sunderland and Boavista to finalise the deal and see Mika provide some much needed competition in the goalkeeping area for David Moyes' side, who only had Jordan Pickford available for selection after Vito Mannone suffered an elbow injury that will keep him out of action for three months.
Mika could potentially make his debut in Sunderland's upcoming Premier League match against Everton at the Stadium of Light, which will take place on Monday evening due to the game being selected for live broadcast on Sky Sports.