ANDY Reid became the third high-earner to be removed from Sunderland’s wage bill during the transfer window after completing a move to Blackpool.
Reid’s departure to Bloomfield Road for an undisclosed fee – reportedly around £750,000 – was the main piece of transfer activity for Sunderland on a quiet deadline day on Wearside.
There were no fresh arrivals for boss Steve Bruce with the Sunderland manager content with his lot after the double capture of Sulley Muntari and Stephane Sessegnon over the weekend.
Reid (pictured), whose contract was due to expire at the end of the season, was an unused substitute for Sunderland’s 2-1 win at Blackpool 10 days ago.
But his days at the Stadium of Light always looked numbered and he joins fringe players David Healy and Paulo Da Silva in leaving the club.
Da Silva completed his move to Real Zaragoza yesterday morning while Healy joined Rangers over the weekend with the trio saving more than £80,000 a week on the club’s wage budget.
Blackpool were also interested in taking Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback on loan but Bruce is keen to keep the 21-year-old at the Stadium of Light.
Seasiders boss Ian Holloway had earmarked Reid as a potential replacement for the much-coveted Charlie Adam, although the Scottish midfielder’s last-gasp move to Tottenham failed to materialise.
“I think Andy Reid will be perfect for us because he is a skilful football player and it won’t take me long to get him playing the way I want,” said Holloway.
“He has gone for £12million (over three transfers) in the past so to get him for the price we have isn’t bad business for us.”
Reid was brought to the Stadium of Light in January 2008 and quickly became a popular figure on the terraces – scoring the last-gasp winner against West Ham to edge Roy Keane’s men closer to survival.
A more slimline Reid played his way into Bruce’s plans at the start of last year until a hamstring injury brought an end to his season.
The 28-year-old has made just three appearances for the Black Cats this time around and was sent on loan to Championship Sheffield United for two months in October.
Meanwhile, Sunderland youngsters Michael Liddle and Michael Kay will remain out on loan until the end of the season.
Left-back Liddle will stay with Blue Square Premier outfit Gateshead while Kay remains at League One Tranmere Rovers.