Black Cats close on Bent

03 August 2009 09:11
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Sunderland assistant manager Eric Black believes Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent is 'very close' to finalising his move to the Stadium of Light.

Bent has been undergoing a medical in the North East ahead of a proposed £12million move after being deemed surplus to requirements at Spurs.

Black Cats boss Steve Bruce had been frustrated with the lack of progress over the weekend, while Bent had previously expressed his concerns about the delay in concluding a deal.

However, Black is now hopeful that the England international is on the brink of joining Sunderland and believes he can help to attract more new signings.

Exceptional"We're very close," said Black. "I wouldn't say we're 100 per cent confident we're going to get him and we're hopeful that in the next 24 hours he'll be a Sunderland player.

"His record in the Premier League is outstanding, I think he's scored about 50 goals in 100-odd appearances, a phenomenal return.

"There's a plethora of different things we think he'll bring to Sunderland.

"He's a big name, he's somebody who has proved he's a Premier League striker, and his return in goals per game is exceptional.

"So getting someone like him up here can only be good for us, and if it can encourage one or two others to take the leap we believe we're going in the right direction."

Wigan's Lee Cattermole is another target, but the Latics have resisted attempts to prise the former Middlesbrough midfielder away from the DW Stadium.

Bruce and Black know Cattermole's strengths, given they were the management team at Wigan until leaving for Sunderland in June.

Black added: "We put offers in to Wigan which have been refused and he's a Wigan player, it's as simple as that.

"We rate him very highly because we had him previously and we think without doubt he could do a job at Sunderland, but he is a Wigan player and that remains the case."

Source: SKY_Sports