Connor Wickham heads to Sunderland for £13m

29 June 2011 09:31
ShareConnor Wickham was in Sunderland on Tuesday night to complete his ?13million move from Ipswich.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has seen off competition from  Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham to put together a package which will land the England Under 21 striker.

Wickham was having a medical last night and concluding talks over personal terms.

Handful: Teenager Connor Wickham has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs

Ipswich have accepted a down payment of ?8.1million, which will rise by another ?5m dependent on goals, appearances, European qualification and future England appearances. OnlyLiverpool are believed to have made a bid for Wickham since the end of last  season but their offer was ?2m lower.

Wickham, who became Ipswich's youngest-ever player at 16 years and 11 days when he came on as a substitute against Doncaster in April 2009, scored the winning goal in England's Under 17s European Championship final win against Spain last summer.

The 6ft 3in teenager fell out of favour during Roy Keane's tenure at Portman Road, but Paul Jewell brought him back into the side when he took over in January and the striker repaid him with nine goals.

Prize asset: Ipswich have held off interest in Wickham for some time

Bruce is also hoping to seal a ?5m deal for  Birmingham City's Craig Gardner. The midfielder, expected on  Wearside for a medical and talks today, is set to be Bruce's fifth signing since Jordan Henderson was sold to Liverpool.

The Sunderland manager, armed with cash from the Henderson and Darren Bent deals, has also added Sweden international Seb Larsson and Republic of Ireland keeper Keiren Westwoodon free transfers. He is waiting for a work permit to enable South Korea teenage striker Ji Dong-won to complete his ?2m move from Chunnam Dragons.

Hit man: Wickham was the youngest player at the European Under 21 tournament

Bruce is still interested in making Manchester United trio Darron Gibson, Wes Brown and John O'Shea part of his squad, along with Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia and Liverpool striker David Ngog.

But it is the landing of Wickham ahead of three clubs from the top six which will delight Bruce.

The promise of regular first team football has given Sunderland the edge over their rivals, as well as their ability to match Ipswich's  asking price.

Wickham first caught the eye of the top clubs three seasons ago and former Sunderland and Ipswich Jewell wasresigned to losing the teenager after Ipswich's failure to win promotion last season.

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 Explore more:People: Craig Gardner, Darren Bent, Steve Bruce, David Ngog, Paul Jewell, Roy Keane, Wes Brown Places: Liverpool, Spain, South Korea, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail