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Quinn's first signing...

Quinn's first signing...

Sunderland are set to complete their first signing under Niall Quinn`s new regime with the capture of Kenny Cunningham on a free transfer.

The experienced defender passed a medical yesterday and arrives at the club after severing ties with former club Birmingham, following their relegation from the Premiership last term.

With Gary Breen having been released, Cunningham more or less takes over his role as the defensive stalwart of the team. It is mooted that he may also be earmarked to be the new club captain.

The Sunderland squad are currently at the University of Bath's sports complex all week for a pre-season training camp, and the Republic of Ireland defender will meet up with them tomorrow. Fans will get the chance to see him in action in a red and white shirt for the first time on Saturday when Sunderland play Conference side Forest Green Rovers in their first pre-season friendly.

And despite Cunningham's arrival, no manager is yet in place at Sunderland, though with Niall Quinn suggesting that no transfers out or in would be made without a manager installed, it can be taken from this signing that the unveiling of a new manager is imminent.

Meanwhile, media reports are suggesting that Premiership new-boys Reading are preparing a second bid for player of the season Dean Whitehead, believed to be around £2m.

And although this figure would represent a massive profit on the former Oxford midfielder, with Mick McCarthy having originally bought the player for just £150,000, it is likely that the club`s new consortium will reject Reading once again, with Niall Quinn insisting that he wants to keep his best players at the club.

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Date:Monday July 10 2006
Time: 1:25PM

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