Sunderland closing on Ji Dong-won and Craig Gardner

28 June 2011 02:17
ShareSunderland manager Steve Bruce is closing in on two of his summer transfer targets.

South Korea striker Ji Dong-won was on Wearside on Monday to visit the club's facilities and hold talks as a protracted move neared completion.

Almost done: Ji Dong-Won (right) was on Wearside for talks

And midfielder Craig Gardner is poised to follow in a ?6million move from Birmingham City.

Bruce hopes the pair will join up with Keiren Westwood and Sebastian Larsson, who will complete their free transfer moves on Friday.

Sunderland have also stolen a march on Liverpool by having a ?13m bid for teenage striker Connor Wickham accepted by Ipswich.

But the Black Cats face a battle to lure him to the Stadium of Light as the 18-year-old is believed to prefer a move to Anfield.

Bruce's recruitment drive could yet extend to double figures as he attempts to replace striker Darren Bent and midfielder Jordan Henderson, as well as departed loan signings Nedum Onuoha, John Mensah, Sulley Muntari and Danny Welbeck.

On his way: Craig Gardner could be the first player to leave relegated Birmingham

However, that seems certain to mean several of his fringe players will be allowed to leave the club, either permanently or on loan deals, as he tries to reduce the wage bill to give himself further room for manoeuvre.

To that end, Paraguay midfielder Cristian Riveros is in talks with Turkish club Kayserispor over a season-long switch.

The 28-year-old, who joined the Black Cats on a free transfer from Mexican outfit Cruz Azul last summer, has struggled to establish himself at the Stadium of Light.

Riveros, who signed a three-year deal, has made just 14 appearances for the club last season, only seven of them in the starting line-up despite a lengthy injury crisis.

Bruce has enjoyed significant success in the past with recruits from Central and South America, but has seen Riveros, compatriot Paulo da Silva and Argentinian defender Marcos Angeleri find the going tough on Wearside.

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 Explore more:People: Darren Bent, Craig Gardner, Steve Bruce, Danny Welbeck, Sebastian Larsson Places: Liverpool, South Korea, Paraguay

Source: Daily_Mail

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