Craig Gardner deal close

Craig Gardner
Craig Gardner
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CRAIG Gardner’s proposed move to Sunderland is moving successfully towards its conclusion with the player in talks after Birmingham City accepted a fee in the region of £5m.

No one involved wants to jump the gun, with the deal always possible of breaking down at the last minute.

But most of the barriers have been removed now – City have accepted a fee, Gardner (right) is believed to want the move and Sunderland are hoping to have a deal wrapped up in the next couple of days.

Gardner is a boyhood Birmingham fan and relished his £3m move across the city from Aston Villa in January 2010.

But his desire to remain in the Premier League coupled with the relegated Blues’ need to slash their wage bill has forced the sale and Sunderland have aggressively pushed their interest in a player who was Birmingham’s top scorer last season with 10 goals from midfield.