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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:34 UK

Stoke confirm Whitehead transfer

Dean Whitehead
Whitehead will swap Sunderland's red and white stripes for those of Stoke

Stoke have signed Sunderland midfielder Dean Whitehead for an initial fee of £3m which could rise to £5m.

The 27-year-old has agreed a four-year contract and could make his debut in Saturday's friendly at Preston.

He began his professional career at Oxford and moved to Sunderland in 2004, where he made 185 appearances.

"I'm delighted to be here," he said. "I've known of the club's interest for about six months or so now so I'm very happy it's all done and dusted."

Whitehead was impressed by Stoke boss Tony Pulis and said: "The manager has been brilliant, I have spoken to him a few times. He has great plans for this place and as soon as I heard what he said I wanted to be part of it.

"Last year was a fantastic season for everyone here and hopefully I can help push the club on even more."


He will link up with former Sunderland team-mates Liam Lawrence, Rory Delap and Danny Higginbotham. "There are a few lads here I already know which I'm sure will help me settle in," he said.

Pulis, meanwhile, was delighted with his acquisition. "Dean is a fantastic player and a great acquisition for this football club," he said.

"He is someone I and my backroom staff have admired for a long time and to have managed to have brought him here signals our intent for the upcoming season.

"Dean is a box-to-box midfielder who has a great engine and he is a player I am looking forward to working with."

Sunderland owe former club Oxford 25% of the fee, minus the initial £325,000 fee they paid for him in 2004 - a figure which could exceed £668,750.

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see also
Oxford delight at Whitehead cash
24 Jul 09 |  Oxford Utd
Kitson vows to prove Stoke worth
23 Jul 09 |  Stoke
Sidibe targets October comeback
17 Jul 09 |  Stoke
Lawrence signs new Stoke contract
15 Jul 09 |  Stoke
Delap extends contract at Stoke
14 Jul 09 |  Stoke
Shawcross pledges future to Stoke
13 Jul 09 |  Stoke
New deals for Diao and Wilkinson
08 Jul 09 |  Stoke
Potters sign two Crewe youngsters
07 Jul 09 |  Stoke

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