Date:Friday August 24 2012
Martin O'Neill has finally secured his number one target this afternoon after Steven Fletcher signed a four year deal at the Stadium of Light for an undisclosed fee.
Whilst undisclosed, the fee is thought to be around the £14m mark - a figure which would make Fletcher to the most expensive signing in the club's history.
Fletcher, 25, was identified by O'Neill as his number one striking target this summer after the Scot bagged an impressive 22 goals in 61 games for Premier League strugglers Wolves during a two-year stint at the club.
A one-time Scotland international, Fletcher made his name north of the border with SPL oufit Hibernian. During a five year stay in the green half of Edinburgh, Fletcher bagged 43 goals in 156 league appearances.
In 2009, then-Burnley manager Owen Coyle splashed £3.5m to bring the 6'1 striker to Turf Moor. Fletcher bagged eight league goals in 35 appearances for the Clarets, showing the kind of form which prompted Wolverhampton Wanderers to pay £7.5m for the Shrewsbury-born hitman.
Two years at Molineux eventually saw Wanderers relegated, with Fletcher taking a 50 per cent pay-cut as a result of a clause in his contract. After seeing several bids from Sunderland re-buffed, Fletcher put in a transfer request before taking to Twitter to confirm the news.
O'Neill was absolutely determined to bring the forward to Wearside, having chased him all summer long. Speaking to safc.com, the boss confirmed his delight:
"It has been no secret that we needed to strengthen our attacking options,' admitted O'Neill, 'and Steven has a proven track record of scoring goals.
"He is young and constantly improving and he will be a very welcome addition to the squad. I`m delighted that we`ve been able to bring him to Sunderland."
Fletcher was signed in time to be eligible for tomorrow's visit from Premier League new-boys Reading and as a result goes straight into the matchday squad for the game.
Welcome to Sunderland Steven!
Date:Friday August 24 2012
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