STEVE Bruce has confirmed that Tottenham midfielder Nico Kranjcar is on Sunderland’s radar after Irish winger James McClean finalised his move to Wearside, writes CHRIS YOUNG.
Ex-Derry City man McClean was confirmed as a Sunderland player yesterday, with the 22-year-old agreeing a three-year contract at the Stadium of Light in a £350,000 deal.
Despite becoming Sunderland’s 10th signing of the summer, McClean is earmarked as a player for the future and will continue his development in the second string rather than being an immediate answer to Bruce’s search for a left-sided midfielder.
Bruce persists in his pursuit of Manchester City outcast Craig Bellamy, with the former Newcastle man providing the flexibility to play on the left or as a striker.
And the Black Cats boss confirmed in a radio phone-in last night his interest in Kranjcar after weekend reports linking the Croatian with Sunderland.
A loan move for Kranjcar is the most likely scenario after Dynamo Kiev were priced out of a permanent switch for the 26-year-old earlier in the summer with Spurs asking for a fee in excess of £10million.
Despite the lofty price tag, Kranjcar has started just 21 Premier League games in two years at White Hart Lane and Spurs are willing to let the ex-Portsmouth man leave the club as they cut costs following their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Bruce still needs to offload players before he is in a position to buy. But Sunderland are hopeful of getting unwanted duo Marcos Angeleri and George McCartney off the books.
Angeleri remains poised to return to former club Estudiantes, while West Ham are looking to take McCartney back to Upton Park on a permanent deal.
The capture of McClean still represents a breakthrough in the transfer market for Sunderland though, with the left winger attracting significant interest from the likes of Wigan and Everton.
Bruce said: “James is an outstanding young talent and has rightly attracted interest from a number of clubs over the summer so we’re very pleased that he sees his future at Sunderland.
“I’m delighted with what we’ve been able to do over the summer. We’ve the makings of a very good squad and James will now have every chance to come here and make that next step in his career.”
McClean added to SAFC TV: “It feels great to be a player at a massive club. I grew up dreaming of playing in the Premier League and now I have that chance. It’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.
“The facilities are superb. It’s a great feeling to be here and I’m just looking forward to getting settled in over here.
“Having players like John O’Shea here - he is a massive name - will help me to settle in. He came over and did well so hopefully I can too.
“I know it’s a big step for me but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ll do my best to improve and then establish myself.
“I’m over the moon to have a chance at playing in the top flight. Every young player dreams about playing at the highest level and I’m no different.
“I like to get the ball down and run with it - getting at defenders is my game and hopefully I can carry on doing that for Sunderland.”