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Sunday 26 January 2020

Buckley completes Sunderland move

Will Buckley has signed for Sunderland
Will Buckley has signed for Sunderland

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has finally got his man after successfully ending his lengthy pursuit of Brighton midfielder Will Buckley.

The 24-year-old Brighton winger joined the Black Cats for an undisclosed fee on Thursday, signing a three-year deal.

Buckley played under Poyet during his spell in charge on the south coast and was a target in January when the Uruguayan returned to his former club to snap up fellow midfielder Liam Bridcutt.

The former Rochdale and Watford player spent three years at Brighton and made more than 70 appearances under Poyet, scoring 16 goals.

He travelled to the north-east on Wednesday to undergo a medical after the Seagulls accepted an offer understood to be in the region of £2.5million.

Buckley could be handed his Sunderland debut at West Brom on Saturday as the new Barclays Premier League season gets under way.

He is the latest man to arrive at the Stadium of Light in a major rebuilding programme undertaken by sporting director Lee Congerton and the head coach this summer.

The midfielder follows Jack Rodwell, Costel Pantilimon, Jordi Gomez, Billy Jones, Patrick van Aanholt and Santiago Vergini to Wearside, and Poyet will hope his arrival is not the last with a little more than a fortnight of the transfer window remaining.

He remains very much on the trail of Liverpool's Fabio Borini, for whom the Black Cats have had a sizable bid accepted.

The Italian has indicated his desire to remain at Anfield and fight for his place despite his successful season on loan at Sunderland last term.

However, Poyet is confident he can persuade him to return to Wearside and play a key part in what he hopes will be a significant improvement on the struggles of the last campaign.

The club has other targets too as it attempts to address the folly of last summer's scattergun recruitment drive under then boss Paolo di Canio and director of football Roberto de Fanti.

PA Media

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