Cape Town - Premier League strugglers Sunderland have signed defender Jan Kirchhoff from Bayern Munich for an undisclosed fee, the club said on Thursday.
The towering centre-back, 25, began his career at Mainz before joining Bayern in 2013. He also played on loan at Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga.
"Jan has a very good pedigree and even though he is still relatively young he has experience of football at the highest level, including the Uefa Champions League," manager Sam Allardyce told the club's website.
"He has real versatility as a player, being comfortable in both the centre back and midfield roles.
"He is desperately keen to experience the Premier League and our job now is to do everything we can to help him settle and adapt quickly to life in English football, so he can have a positive impact on our squad."
Sunderland face a battle to avoid relegation. They sit 19th in the table with 15 points from 20 games.