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5m Graham To Win Over Black Cats!
Sunderland have completed the signing of Danny Graham from Swansea for £5million.
The striker has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Graham has been manager Martin O''Neill''s top transfer target this month and the Ulsterman has had to remain patient with his club''s bid on the table for some time before Swansea eventually decided to accept it.
Middlesbrough made their own enquiry about Graham, although it soon emerged that he was intent on remaining in the Barclays Premier League with Sunderland.
Danny Graham: "As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn''t even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table.
"I was born and brought up in the north east so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world - it''s special and there''s nowhere else like it."
His initial task will be to persuade those supporters who jeered his introduction during the second half of Tuesday night''s 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light that his Newcastle roots and affections will be no bar to success on Wearside.
Graham: "Of course, I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I''ve always given 100 per cent no matter what team I play for and no matter who I play against.
"It''s up to me to show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt, and I''m excited about playing for a club as big as this.
"I''m really excited about the future - this is a new phase of my career and I can''t wait to get started."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Graham Snubs Middlesbrough Offer!
Sunderland are facing a race against the clock to sign Danny Graham ... as the Swansea striker refuses an offer from Middlesbrough.
The waters were muddied earlier on Thursday when it emerged that Graham's former club Middlesbrough had also expressed an interest, although the player's camp responded swiftly to rule out a return to the Riverside Stadium.
O'Neill's hopes of landing the striker have been complicated by Swansea's refusal to do business until they have a replacement on board, with Stoke's Kenwyne Jones among their targets.
They are yet to do that and with time running down fast, it remains to be seen whether or not they will stick to that plan.
Graham played the final 16 minutes of 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening, and his reception was mixed to say the least.
The Gateshead-born frontman has made no secret of his boyhood affection for arch-rivals Newcastle - a move to St James' Park was never on the cards simply because he would have little sell-on value at the end of any lengthy contract - and comments made in a fanzine interview were less than complimentary toward the Black Cats.
O'Neill is desperate to boost his striking options to provide support for leading scorer Steven Fletcher, having allowed Fraizer Campbell and Louis Saha to leave the club and Ji Dong-won join German outfit Augsburg on loan.
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