Dong-won set to seal Sunderland deal


JI Dong-won has arrived on Wearside for talks which are expected to move smoothly towards the 20-year-old South Korean striker rubber-stamping his £2million move to the Stadium of Light.

And with Birmingham City midfield Craig Gardner also expected to sit down for talks soon, Sunderland are hoping they could have as many as half-a-dozen new faces at the club when pre-season training at the Academy of Light early next month.

Bosman players Keiren Westwood and Seb Larsson completed their moves last week and their official unveiling will take place at the end of this week.

And with progress set to be made this week in the Ji and Gardner deals, Sunderland could be four players better off by the end of it.

The Black Cats also have irons in the fire with Connor Wickham, David Vaughan and David Ngog all contemplating their futures while Manchester Untied trio Wes Brown, John O’Shea and Darren Gibson contemplate moves to Wearside.

Stories over the weekend suggested Newcastle United were looking to contest Sunderland for the signature of United midfielder Gibson but the Black Cats are confident that the Irishman will sign for them if he leaves Old Trafford this summer.

It means that despite Jordan Henderson’s surprise move to Liverpool earlier this month, Sunderland will have made significant progress in their bids to rebuild before pre-season preparations start.

Despite claims over the weekend that Sunderland were readying a £7million offer for Reading striker Shane Long, he is not a player Sunderland are actively pursuing and certainly not for that size fee.

Sunderland have been battling on numerous fronts to bring players in and although the pursuit of the three Manchester United players and Liverpool’s David N’gog have yet to bear fruit, the club is happy enough with the way things are progressing in the transfer market.

And the acquisition of Gardner in particular, if it comes off, should guarantee them goals from midfield as Bruce looks to reshape his squad and create new dimensions and strengths within it.