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Jan 31, 2012

Bridge set for Sunderland medical

Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge is heading to Sunderland for a medical ahead of a loan move to Wearside.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill wants to bolster his injury-hit squad with the addition of Bridge, 31, on the final day of the January transfer window.

O'Neill moved for the hugely experienced former England left-back after his defensive resources were further stretched by the loss of Wes Brown to a suspected medial ligament injury at the weekend.

Bridge has played just 78 minutes of senior football this season after slipping down the pecking order at Eastlands. His only appearance of the campaign to date came in a 2-0 Carling Cup third-round victory over Birmingham on September 21.

Bridge joined City from Chelsea in a £12 million move in January 2009, but has managed only 58 appearances in his three years with the club.

He began his career with home-town club Southampton and hit the big time when he was snapped up by Chelsea in a £7 million deal in July 2003.

Bridge, who has 30 senior England caps, would fill a position which has been vacant for some time at the Stadium of Light.

Either right-back Phil Bardsley or midfielder Kieran Richardson have more often than not played on the left side of defence for the last two seasons.

O'Neill's predecessor Steve Bruce chased Wigan's Maynor Figueroa for much of his time at the club, but was never able to plug the gap with a specialist.

It is understood npower Championship Reading had more than a passing interest in Bridge, but the offer of Premier League football appears to have eased Sunderland ahead of the Royals.

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