READING FC have bolstered their defensive options by signing veteran defender John O'Shea.

The 37-year-old Champions League winner will officially join Paul Clement's squad when his contract at Sunderland expires at the end of the month.

O'Shea, who recently retired from international duty, follows the footsteps of David Meyler, who penned a two-year deal at Madejski Stadium on Wednesday.

O'Shea has suffered two successive relegations with the Black Cats and opted to leave Stadium of Light for a fresh challenge.

However, in a glittering career which saw him play a key part in Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United side, he was won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

And former Royals favourite Noel Hunt backed O'Shea to silence his critics.

Hunt said: “He’s a leader and a winner.

“Look at what he has done over the last 10 or 15 years.

“He has been nothing but a model pro and a top guy.

“John has played with the best players in the world."

O'Shea came through the youth ranks at Manchester United before going on to make nearly 400 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 15 goals.

He left Old Trafford to join Sunderland in 2011, signing a four-year deal at Stadium of Light.

His contract expired when the Black Cats were relegated from the top-flight, but O'Shea agreed a one-year extension which expires at the end of June.

The 37-year-old has agreed terms on a one-year deal at Madejski Stadium.

Boss Clement added: "John has played and won at the very highest level – he has won five Premier League titles, been part of a European Cup-winning side and earned 118 caps for his country. He will bring us fantastic levels of experience and proven leadership qualities.

“We looked very carefully at John’s recent playing statistics and he played a total of 40 games for Sunderland last season; he is still incredibly fit and a hugely motivated individual.

"So we look forward to him being a big contributor out on the pitch next season.”