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Sunderland secure Graham deal

ESPN staff
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Danny Graham has had a frustrating season for Swansea © PA Photos
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Sunderland have tied up a deal for Swansea City striker Danny Graham for a fee of £5 million.

Graham, 27, has signed a three-and-a-half year deal and should be available for Saturday's Premier League clash at Reading.

The former Middlesbrough man, who hails from Gateshead, is delighted to be moving back up north again and cannot wait to get started at the Black Cats.

"As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table," he told Sunderland's official website. "I was born and brought up in the North East so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world - it's special and there's nowhere else like it."

Graham is a life-long Newcastle fan and was recently booed by a section of the Stadium of Light supporters when Swansea played Sunderland on Tuesday. The former England Under-20 international, however, believes his roots will not prove to be a problem.

"Of course, I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I've always given 100% no matter what team I play for and no matter who I play against," he said.

"It's up to me to show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt and I'm excited about playing for a club as big as this. I'm really excited about the future - this is a new phase of my career and I can't wait to get started."

Graham, who has been forced to play second fiddle to Michu at the Liberty Stadium this season, is Martin O'Neill's third signing of the January transfer window, following the arrivals of midfielder Alfred N'Diaye and defender Kader Mangane.

Middlesbrough reportedly made a £5 million bid for the striker on Thursday, only for the player's representatives to rule out a move to the Championship club. Norwich and Reading were also believed to interested in securing his services.

The sale of Graham opens the door for Swansea to bring in a replacement striker if possible. Swans boss Michael Laudrup is reportedly keen on acquiring Stoke's Kenwyne Jones.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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