January 16, 2015 / 10:47 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Dinamo fan Tamas joins bitter city rivals Steaua

(Adds details, quotes)

BUCHAREST, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Steaua Bucharest have signed Romania centre back Gabriel Tamas as a free agent on Friday in an attempt to bolster their defence following Pole Lukasz Szukala’s move to Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad earlier this month.

Tamas, a keen supporter of Dinamo, Steaua’s bitter rivals, had promised he would only play for Dinamo in his native country.

The 31-year-old Tamas, who has 63 caps with Romania and previously played for West Bromwich Albion, Galatasaray and Spartak Moskow, had three spells at Dinamo between 2002 and 2009.

“I came to Steaua as a professional player,” said Tamas, who signed a two-year contract after leaving Watford earlier this week.

“In the West, players join rival teams often and there’s no problem. I think we should take this as an example.”

Champions Steaua top the league standings with 43 points from 17 matches, nine points ahead of CFR Cluj.

Steaua also said in a statement they have reached an agreement with the defence ministry to use the club’s name.

Last December, Steaua, who were founded in 1947 as an army side, had their registration cancelled by Romania’s highest court after losing the fight over their trademark with the defence ministry. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Julien Pretot)

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