It sounds like the kind of signing that would excite any football fan - an intelligent, cultured left winger who's been compared with Wayne Rooney.
But Sunderland supporters could be excused for feeling slightly deflated by the news that their latest recruit was likely to be the former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.
The South Shields MP looks set to join the club's board as Vice Chairman.
There are few details about his likely role yet but both club and politician have confirmed they want it to happen.
According to the club, the Chairman Niall Quinn approached the MP about it after his defeat in the Labour leadership contest.
An official appointment may have to wait up to three weeks though as it has to be vetted by the parliamentary authorities because Mr Miliband is an ex-minister.
It's rumoured he'll be paid £50,000 annually for a role that looks to be amabassadorial.
So what's going on here?
Firstly, this is a role I can imagine that would excite David Miliband.
He is passionate about his football; although Sunderland fans might be slightly disgruntled to know his club of choice is Arsenal (preferable to Newcastle at least).
His playing pedigree is a little limited though judging by the footage I have found of him playing in a charity football match in 2002. Apparently, as a young man he was goalkeeper but on this occasion he appeared to be occupying the midfield.
He seemed to lack a bit of pace, and although regrettably we have no shots of it, he apparently scored an own goal in the match at St James's Park.
But there's no question he will enjoy being involved in a game he loves.
The money might also be appealing - remember this is a man who's lost a ministerial salary. But I doubt it was a major motivation.
After all this is a man who recently earned £25,000 for one speech, and could have earned far more in many other jobs.
But I suspect there's another bonus here. Against many people's expectations, David Miliband does appear intent on remaining as South Shields' MP.
He and his political allies have always insisted that he loves being the town's MP and would be loath to give it up.
It is easy to be cynical about such claims when you recall that David Miliband was parachuted into the constituency in 2001 with no local connections.
But all of his recent attempts to diversify his career seem designed to allow him to remain as an MP.
He clearly would have had to leave South Shields to become ambassador to Washington or a UN official.
Presenting TV programmes, or teaching part-time will allow him to keep his main job though, and working with Sunderland will actually allow him to pursue other interests and, if anything, deepen his ties with the region.
But is there a longer game here?
In his own words David Miliband has left front-line politics "for now", but he remains an ambitious man.
The only way he can hope to be Labour leader in the future realistically is to remain as an MP.
And I also think he's known for some time that there was something missing from his political image.
He's been renowned as a formidable brain, respected for his grasp of policy. But he has failed to show much of the common touch.
What could be better for that image than being associated with football - the game of the people.
If this job helps with that, I can imagine it might be another motivation for Mr Miliband.
And what do Sunderland or his constituents get out of it?
The Sunderland fans I spoke to had mixed views. Some welcomed the news. Others didn't see what he could really contribute, and questioned whether he'd be worth £50,000.
The club I suppose will get a recognisable face and someone with good international connections.
As you can see manager Steve Bruce has been bigging him up, but until we get more detail about his role it's hard to say much more.
His constituents will though be entitled to wonder just how much time he'll spend on South Shields, and how much on his other activities.
But remember this is a man who was until recently Foreign Secretary.
It's hard to imagine presenting the odd TV programme or acting as a cheerleader for Sunderland FC will eat up more of his time.
There may be some though who are unhappy. His constituency includes both Newcastle and Sunderland fans. In the past Mr Miliband has been keen not to show any allegiance for that reason.
But given parliamentary approval, it seems David Miliband will soon be firmly in the red-and-white camp, and apparently committed to the North East for some time to come.