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Aug 31, 2009

Turner signs for Sunderland

Sunderland have completed the signing of Hull City defender Michael Turner on a four-year deal, for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old, who enjoyed a brilliant first season in the Premier League which saw him linked with an England call-up and a move to Liverpool, had a £12m price tag slapped on his head by the Tigers earlier this month.

Delighted Black Cats manager Steve Bruce said: "I believe that Michael is one of the country's premier central defenders. I have been looking to add size and strength to the back line and Michael fits the bill perfectly in that respect, as well as being an excellent technical footballer.

"His aerial ability provides us with another dimension at set-pieces at either end of the field, and I am delighted that he has chosen to buy into what we are trying to achieve here at Sunderland.

"He has developed immeasurably as a player whilst with Hull - I am extremely confident he will continue that progress with Sunderland and go on to be a big success.''

The news of Turner's sale has already caused great concern to Hull fans who feel his departure will make it much harder for them to stay in the top flight for a third season. But Hull are already believed to be in advanced talks to sign a replacement, in addition to Paul McShane who moved to the KC from Sunderland on Sunday.

Turner played every single minute of the club's Premier League programme last season. He made 146 appearances for the Tigers and was voted player of the year at the club in each of the last two seasons.

But the centre-back believes working under former Manchester United defender Bruce at the Stadium of Light can bring on his game.

"A lot of things attracted me to Sunderland - the facilities, the stadium, the training ground, the fan base," Turner told his new club's official website. "But a big factor was the manager. Steve Bruce is a proven manager who played in my position as a player, and hopefully he can add to my game.''

Sunderland have six points from their opening four matches this season, and Turner is certain the team is going to keep improving.

"It's a great time to be here,'' he said. "The signings which have already been made show Sunderland want to move in the right direction and I want to be a part of that.''

Turner cost Hull just £300,000 when he was signed from Brentford three years ago and after the draw with Wolves at the weekend boss Phil Brown said bids were "getting towards a ridiculous valuation''.

The defender becomes Bruce's seventh summer signing after Darren Bent, Lee Cattermole, Fraizer Campbell, Lorik Cana, Paulo da Silva and loanee John Mensah.

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