Titus Bramble completes Sunderland switch
Titus Bramble has completed his switch to Sunderland from Wigan, in a deal believed to be worth around £1 million.
Bramble has followed his former boss, Steve Bruce, to Wearside despite enduring a largely unsuccessful spell with Sunderland's bitter rivals Newcastle between 2002 and 2007.
Bruce has hailed Bramble's signing as "a cracking deal" but has conceded that Bramble may have to work hard to prove himself to the same fans that used to deride him, dubbing him "Titus Shambles".
"I'm delighted he is going to be a part of what we are trying to achieve at this football club," Bruce said. "He's going to be a huge asset to us, it's fantastic."
"I knew it might be a difficult one for Sunderland fans - and a difficult one for him. But the great thing is that the lad has plenty of bottle - he wanted to come here," said Bruce.
"He wants to play for me and for Sunderland and I feel sure Sunderland fans will recognise that and give him a fair crack of the whip. At the end of the day Sunderland fans want the same as me and the same as Titus Bramble, which is success for the club."
The 28-year-old has penned a three-year deal and has already flown out to join his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Portugal.
Bramble worked under Bruce and his assistant, Eric Black, at Wigan, where he also played with midfielder Lee Cattermole, and he was followed through the ranks at first club Ipswich by £10million marksman Darren Bent, so he won't be short of familiar faces at Sunderland.
He said: "I know the manager, all his backroom staff, I know Catts, I know Benty, so it will be easy to settle in. Any time you join a new club, it's exciting, so I just want to get back on the training pitch and play with my new team.''
Asked about his ambitions for the season, Bramble told SAFC TV: "To become a regular, and for the team it's to improve on last season. The signings he [Bruce] is going to make and the players we have here, we are definitely good enough to qualify for Europe. It's a great stadium and we have got some very passionate fans - it's better to be playing with them rather than against them.''