Sunderland boss Steve Bruce hoping to clinch Connor Wickham and Craig Gardner deals

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was today hoping to stage a double transfer coup as he closed in on striker Connor Wickham and midfielder Craig Gardner.

SportMail understands 18-year-old Ipswich frontman Wickham is due to undergo a medical within the next 24 hours after the Black Cats tabled a formal bid of more than £8million.

In addition, they are expected to hold talks with 24-year-old Birmingham midfielder Gardner as they try to push home their interest in him.

However, Bruce and chairman Niall Quinn could face a race against time to persuade Wickham that his future lies at the Stadium of Light before his other suitors can stake their own claims.

The player has been heavily linked with Liverpool and is understood to favour a switch to Anfield, while Arsenal and Tottenham also reportedly have an interest in him.

Full story in today’s Mail.