West Brom seal deal for Sunderland’s Gardner

Craig Gardner.
Craig Gardner.
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WEST BROM yesterday confirmed the Bosman signing of Craig Gardner, with the released Sunderland midfielder penning a three-year deal at the Hawthorns.

Gardner was told almost a fortnight ago that he would not be offered a new contract at the Stadium of Light, with his current deal due to expire at the end of next month.

West Brom have confirmed the 27-year-old will join the club from July 1 and has penned a three-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months.

It brings to an end a lengthy pursuit from the Baggies, who have been tracking the former Birmingham and Aston Villa man for more than two years and saw a January bid rejected by Sunderland.

“Craig is someone we have followed for a long time and we are delighted to finally get him,” said West Brom’s director of football administration Richard Garlick.

“We tried to bring him here in the January transfer window but it did not work out.

“We have continued to track him and he has expressed a real desire to be at this club following interest from elsewhere.

“He has the flexibility to play in a few positions across the midfield, scores goals, and can slot in at right-back if required.

“I think he will bring a freshness to our midfield area and his character will suit our dressing room.”

Gardner made 99 appearances for Sunderland, netting 14 goals, after arriving in a £6million move from Birmingham in the summer of 2011.