Bruce defends Cattermole deal

13 August 2009 03:51
Manager Steve Bruce insists Sunderland were not guilty of unsettling Lee Cattermole ahead of his £6million move from Wigan to the Stadium if Light. Latics counterpart Roberto Martinez suggested the England Under-21 midfielder had become unsettled by uncertainty over his future after Sunderland declared their interest. But former Wigan boss Bruce, who took 21-year-old Cattermole to the club a year ago when he moved from Middlesbrough in a £3.5m deal, is adamant Sunderland conducted themselves properly in their pursuit of the tough-tackling Teessider. He said: "It was no secret we'd put in a bid three or four weeks ago and, contrary to reports that we'd unsettled Lee, I was encouraged after speaking to Roberto. He didn't dismiss it totally if we could get to the right sort of figure. There was always an element that gave me food for thought that it could be done. "Roberto wants to add a few players of his own and he obviously used the situation to get some money in for players, which is fair enough and something all managers do. I have huge respect for the chairman Dave Whelan and everybody at Wigan and the last thing I wanted to do was go back there and disrupt anything. "Once I got encouragement I pursued it and didn't let it go. A couple of weeks ago I think Roberto had changed his mind and wanted to keep Lee. But then it was ongoing and, in the end, we got to the finish. We're delighted we've been able to bring the boy here."

Source: Eurosport