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Black Cats swoop for Cattermole
Published : 12 Aug 2009 16:40:03
Sunderland have bolstered their squad ahead of the new season after signing Wigan Athletic's Lee Cattermole for an initial fee of £6million, which could rise to £8million. The 21-year-old midfielder, who was a regular at Wigan last season, has signed a four-year contract at the Stadium of Light after passing a routine medical. Former Wigan boss Steve Bruce has been tracking Cattermole for much of the summer, although Wigan initially refused to do business after rejecting their opening offer. Earlier on Wednesday, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez called for the Wearsiders to call off their pursuit of the England Under-21 international as it was unsettling him. However, Sunderland upped their offer for the ex-Middlesbrough youngster and have now added steel to their midfield just days ahead of the new campaign. Cattermole was signed by former Latics manager Bruce for Wigan last summer from Middlesbrough for a now bargain £3.5million. Martinez feels Sunderland's offer was too good to refuse and, bearing in mind the player had indicated he wanted to leave the DW Stadium, he sanctioned the deal. "The fee is a good one, it is far more than the club paid for him last year and the third highest in Wigan Athletic history," he told Wigan's official website. "The initial offer from Sunderland was unacceptable as we said at the time, but they have now matched our valuation. "The speculation about Lee has refused to go away over the last few weeks and this has been very unsettling for him and for our players. "It became clear over the past days having spoken to Lee that he wanted to leave and it is very disruptive to the group when a player is clearly unhappy. "My number one priority has to be the good of the club and it left me with a decision to make, I therefore agreed to the move for the good of the players we have at the club and who want to remain with us and help us progress to the next level."