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Connor Wickham to have Sunderland medical 'within 24 hours'
Published : 28 Jun 2011 20:41:32
ShareIpswich striker Connor Wickham is expected to undergo a medical with Sunderland within 24 hours. The Black Cats have moved swiftly after submitting a formal offer of ?13m for the 18-year-old and plan to carry out the checks as soon as possible. In addition, Birmingham midfielder Craig Gardner is due on Wearside for talks with manager Steve Bruce hoping for a major double breakthrough. Handful: Teenager Connor Wickham has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs Sunderland have made significant progress in the last 24 hours as they attempt to persuade England Under 21 international Wickham that his future lies at the Stadium of Light. Liverpool's admiration of the teenager is well known, and it is understood Anfield would be his preferred destination, while Arsenal and Tottenham have also been mentioned in dispatches. However, the Black Cats have thrown down to gauntlet by formalising their interest in the player, and it remains to be seen whether or not their proactive approach proves decisive. Prize asset: Ipswich have held off interest in Wickham for some time Sunderland have no desire to be dragged into a bidding war for Wickham and will hope they have given themselves a head start. Bruce has been on the Hereford-born youngster's trail for some time as he tries to bolster his attacking resources ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season. He has 72 senior appearances for Townto his name, 35 of them as a substitute, and he scored nine times in last season's npower Championship. Hit man: Wickham was the youngest player at the European Under 21 tournament Strikers are perhaps Bruce's main priority with Darren Bent having been sold to Aston Villa in January, Danny Welbeck now back with Manchester United following his loan spell and Fraizer Campbell facing most of the new campaign on the sidelines with a knee injury. Indeed, Sunderland ended last season with record signing Asamoah Gyan as their only fit and available option in attack, and that is a situation the manager intends to address as a matter of urgency. Sunderland trigger Wickham auction after Black Cats agree ?13m deal for Ipswich starletSteve Bruce sets his sights on ?7m Long shot to pip Newcastle to Reading strikerFulham, QPR and Sunderland taking an interest in Hamburg defender Demel Explore more:People: Darren Bent, Craig Gardner, Steve Bruce, Danny Welbeck Places: Birmingham, Hereford, Liverpool