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West Brom snap up Sunderland's Gardner

ESPN staff
May 20, 2014
West Brom said they fought off a number of clubs to secure Craig Gardner © PA Photos

West Brom have announced the signing of Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner on a Bosman transfer from July 1.

Gardner has passed a medical and put pen to paper on a three-year deal, plus a further year's option in the club's favour.

Confirming the news in a statement on Tuesday, Albion added that they had "beaten off competition from a string of clubs" to secure the services of the 27-year-old.

When he completes his move after the expiration of his Sunderland contract at the end of June, Gardner will be with a midlands side for the third time in his career, having previously played for Aston Villa and Birmingham.

West Brom director of football administration Richard Garlick told the club's official website: "Craig is someone we have followed for a long time and we are delighted to finally get him.

"We tried to bring him here in the January transfer window but it did not work out. We have continued to track him and he has expressed a real desire to be at this club following interest from elsewhere.

"He has the flexibility to play in a few positions across the midfield, scores goals, and can slot in at right-back if required. I think he will bring a freshness to our midfield area and his character will suit our dressing room.

"We know we have a big summer ahead of us and it is great to get our first signing done so early.''

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