Sunderland complete Graham deal
Sunderland have completed the signing of Swansea City striker Danny Graham for £5 million.
Graham, 27, has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal and should be available for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Reading.
The former Middlesbrough man, who hails from Gateshead, said he was delighted to be moving back to the North-East and could not wait to get started at Sunderland.
“As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland, I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table,” he told Sunderland’s official website.
“I was born and brought up in the North-East so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world - it's special and there's nowhere else like it.”
Graham is a life-long Newcastle fan and was booed by a section of the Stadium of Light crowd when Swansea played Sunderland on Tuesday. The former England Under-20 international, however, believes that will not prove to be a problem.
“Of course, I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I've always given 100% no matter what team I play for and no matter who I play against," he said.
“It's up to me to show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt, and I'm excited about playing for a club as big as this.”
Graham, who has been forced to play second fiddle to Michu at the Liberty Stadium this season, is Martin O'Neill's third signing of the January transfer window, following the arrivals of midfielder Alfred N'Diaye and defender Kader Mangane.
“We’re delighted to have Danny and I genuinely think he’ll do well for us. He has a real desire to do well,” O’Neill said. “I’ve got a fairly decent idea in my head about how we’ll use Danny - there’ll be a number of formations we’ll be able to use."
Middlesbrough reportedly made a £5 million bid for the striker on Thursday, only for the player’s representatives to rule out a move to the Championship club.
Norwich and Reading were also said to have been interested in securing his services.
Meanwhile, Sunderland have confirmed that French striker Louis Saha has left the club.
Earlier this month, O'Neill said both parties had agreed to cancel the 34-year-old's contract after 14 senior appearances.
Chief executive Margaret Byrne told the club's official website: “We wish Louis all the very best for the future.''