CHESTERFIELD ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Felix Klaus of Germany battles with Connor Wickham of England during the International Friendly match between England U19 and Germany U19 at the B2NET Stadium on February 8 2011 in Chesterfield England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Sunderland Follow Connor Wickham Signing With Flurry Of Further Moves

Steve Bruce has launched a major revamp of his team, signing young forwards Connor Wickham and Ji Don-Wong, goalscoring midfielder Craig Gardner, and looks set to add to that with the acquisition of Manchester United duo Wes Brown and John O'Shea.

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Wes Brown And John O'Shea Each On Verge Of Sunderland Switch

Sunderland have been linked to the Manchester United trio of Wes Brown, Darron Gibson and John O'Shea for some time now, and it seems as though Steve Bruce's attempts to bring them to the northeast are finally bearing fruit. Brown is understood to be very close to agreeing personal terms with the Black Cats and is in Sunderland for a medical, with O'Shea expected to follow his defensive partner to the Stadium of Light in short order.

The situation regarding Darron Gibson, meanwhile, is less clear - the Guardian reports that his wage demands are far higher than Bruce had anticipated, and Sunderland seem unwilling to match them as it stands. Bruce had agreed a transfer fee for the three with Sir Alex Ferguson, but it's not clear how much it'll cost the Black Cats should they only be able to secure Brown and O'Shea.

Although Sunderland have lost young midfielder Jordan Henderson, they've done an excellent job re-stocking the cabinet. Brown and O'Shea will add to a haul that already includes promising strikers Connor Wickham and Ji Don-Wong as well as former Birmingham City midfielder Craig Gardner.

For more on Sunderland, visit Roker Report.


Sunderland Sign Craig Gardner, Ji Dong-Won

Sunderland are adding to their stable of summer acquisitions again today, picking up Birmingham midfielder Craig Gardner and, perhaps more excitingly, 20-year-old Chunnam Dragons forward Ji Dong-Won, who's finally arrived at the Stadium of Light following apparent issues with his work permit. The news comes just days after the Black Cats announced the acquisition of highly-rated England under-21 international Connor Wickham, and with new signings expected to follow throughout the week we're looking at a major revamp for Steve Bruce's side.

All three of Gardner, Wickham, and Dong-Won will add some goalscoring prowess to a team which had been missing a pure scorer in the wake of Darren Bent's departure to Aston Villa in the January transfer window, but it's the latter two who are the most interesting (with all due respect to Gardner). Wickham's been closely watched by prospect mavens for years now and managed to hold his own as an 18-year-old in the Championship with Ipswich, while Dong-Won has been described by SB Nation Sunderland blog Roker Report as being a little like a 'Korean Danny Welbeck' - they also noted that he had received high praised from none other than Asamoah Gyan.

Going for youth and potential over established mediocrity is one way in which Sunderland can escape the mid-table doldrums, and it'll be fascinating to see how their gamble pays out. Meanwhile, Bruce has offloaded the disappointing Cristian Riveros to Turkish outfit Kayserispor, which will presumably improve the team as well.


Sunderland Confirm £12 Million Connor Wickham Signing

Sunderland AFC have confirmed the signing of Ipswich wonderkid Connor Wickham for an initial £8m, possibly rising to £12m.

Steve Bruce has made the 18-year-old, who was voted the Football League Young Player Of The Year last season, his third summer signing after free transfers Kieran Westwood and Sebastian Larsson.

The move is a significant coup for the North-East club, as the youngster had been heavily tipped to join Liverpool, but Sunderland have managed to complete a deal for the youngster since he returned from the Under-21 Championships.

It remains to be seen how much first-team action Wickham will get for the Black Cats, but he has shown glimpses of his prodigious talent in his short career so far. The striker, who holds the record for Ipswich Town's youngest ever player to make a first-team appearance, scored 9 goals in 40 appearances last season.

For further reaction, head to SB Nation's Sunderland blog Roker Report.

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