SUNDERLAND will today bid to finalise the triple transfer of Wes Brown, John O’Shea and David Vaughan.
Former England defender Brown is on the verge of becoming Sunderland’s sixth signing of the summer after undergoing a medical at the Academy of Light last night.
And Brown is set to be followed through the doors by Manchester United team-mate O’Shea, who is expected to hold talks and complete a medical on Wearside today.
Former Blackpool midfielder Vaughan will also be at the Academy of Light for discussions after opting to join Sunderland over top flight rivals West Brom.
Sunderland have long held an interest in free agent Vaughan, who was voted Blackpool’s Player of the Year last season.
But the Welsh international has taken his time in choosing his new employers after turning down a new contract with the relegated Seasiders.
Vaughan returned from holiday last week ready to make a decision over his future and held talks at West Brom’s training ground on Monday.
But the 28-year-old rejected the Baggies’ advances, with West Brom admitting defeat by claiming they were concentrating on other targets.
That opened the way for Sunderland to land their third Bosman signing of the summer following the capture of Keiren Westwood and Seb Larsson.
Vaughan will plug the gap left by departed midfield duo Bolo Zenden and Cristian Riveros, who yesterday finalised a season-long loan with Turkish side Kayserispor.
But it is the capture of defensive duo Brown and O’Shea which will have Bruce purring after a month-long pursuit from Sunderland.
Bruce has been forced to be patient after making a £12million triple bid for Brown, O’Shea and Darron Gibson following Sunderland’s £19m sale of Jordan Henderson to Liverpool.
While the move for Gibson has stalled over the midfielder’s wage demands, Sunderland have made big progress with Brown and O’Shea over the last seven days.
Brown was initially thought to be reluctant to leave the North West, but has been persuaded to move to Wearside by Sunderland’s dogged persistence and the prospect of limited opportunities at United following the £16m signing of Blackburn defender Phil Jones.
There will be concerns over Brown’s injury record after making just 33 league appearances over the last three seasons, but both the 31-year-old and O’Shea will offer a wealth of experience to Sunderland’s back line.
The duo also offer the versatility to slot in comfortably at right-back or centre-half and will provide a major boost to Sunderland’s defensive options after the departure of loanees Nedum Onuoha and John Mensah.
If Sunderland can complete the capture of Brown, O’Shea and Vaughan, it will take their tally of new signings to eight – putting the vast majority of Bruce’s side in place for the Premier League opener at Liverpool on August 13.
Westwood and Craig Gardner were the only fresh faces to take part in the opening day of pre-season training yesterday, with Larsson, Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won given extended leave after their international commitments during the summer.