Bramble on the brink
Sunderland hope to confirm Titus Bramble as their latest summer signing on Friday after all but completing the formalities of his transfer from Wigan.
The remaining paperwork is expected to be processed within the next 24 hours after the 28-year-old, who has flown out to Portugal to join up with manager Steve Bruce and his squad, agreed personal terms and completed a medical.
Bramble will move for an initial fee in the region of Â£1million and restore a relationship with Bruce which proved so fruitful during their time together with the Latics.
Sunderland turned to the former Newcastle player after being frustrated in their efforts to recruit an experienced central defender, and Bruce is convinced Bramble can do a job for him despite his difficult time at St James' Park.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "Look, I thought long and hard about signing him, long and hard because I knew it might be a difficult one for Sunderland fans and for him.
"But the great thing is that the lad's got plenty of bottle - he wanted to come here, he wanted to play for me and Sunderland, and I feel sure that Sunderland fans will recognise that and give him a fair crack of the whip.
"At the end of the day, Sunderland fans want the same as me and the same as Titus Bramble, which is success for this club.
"If Titus shows - as I think he will - that he can make us better, then I don't think supporters will have a problem accepting him.
"The easiest thing would have been not to sign him and avoid any hassle, but I think he's a player who can genuinely improve us.
"He had a difficult start to his top-flight career. I think the move to Newcastle was too soon for him, it was too big a club at too tender an age and he's had his work cut out to shift the image of himself he created there."
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