JOHN O’SHEA was in Sunderland today undergoing a medical as his Manchester United team-mate Wes Brown was putting the puts the finishing touches to his transfer from Old Trafford.
England international Brown has been introduced to some of his new team-mates as he looks around the Academy of Light and the defender is expected to be confirmed as a Sunderland player in the next 24 hours.
His United team-mate John O'Shea is now in the north east as well, but the club, who started pre-season training yesterday, are still negotiating with Republic of Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson over personal terms. Steve Bruce has been waiting for an answer from the trio ever since Sunderland had a £12m combined offer accepted by United at the start of June.
The transfers had been delayed as the players wanted to speak to Alex Ferguson about where they stood in the pecking order before accepting their time at Old Trafford was at an end.
Ferguson’s heavy spending this summer on goalkeeper David de Gea, centre-back Phil Jones and winger Ashley Young meant he needed to trim his first-team squad before he could look to add a creative midfielder to replace the retired Paul Scholes. Bruce has been keen to add some experience to one of the youngest squads in the top flight and is delighted he has been able to land Brown, 31, and O’Shea, 30, in the face of stiff competition.
Stoke had been trying to sign O’Shea, while Brown has been linked with moves to both Everton and Bolton this summer.
O’Shea, who has made 70 appearances for the Republic of Ireland, has offered reliable cover in a variety of positions since graduating from the United Academy and has played more than 250 first-team games.
Brown is most comfortable at centre back, but has also featured at right-back. Despite his injury problems, Brown has still played 232 times for his hometown club.