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Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 10:10 UK

Sunderland set to seal Bruce deal

Wigan manager Steve Bruce
Bruce has established Wigan as a Premier League club

Sunderland are on the verge of securing Wigan boss Steve Bruce as their new manager, BBC Sport understands.

Bruce, 48, was given permission by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan to speak to the Black Cats about their vacant managerial post last week.

Whelan wanted the £3m back he paid Birmingham to release Bruce from his St Andrew's contract in 2007.

With the compensation package agreed it is now just a matter of Sunderland agreeing personal terms with Bruce.

Officials from the north east club are believed to be in Portugal - where Bruce is on holiday - to thrash out personal terms.


Ricky Sbragia stepped down as Sunderland boss at the end of the season, having kept the team in the Premier League.

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was linked with the vacancy before attention moved to Newcastle-born Bruce.

The former Manchester United defender began his managerial career at Sheffield United in 1998, and since then has had spells at Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Birmingham and Wigan - twice.

His second spell at the Latics began in November 2007 after Whelan paid Birmingham £3m to secure his services, and this season he guided the Latics to 11th in the Premier League, while Sunderland finished 16th.

If Bruce does take the job, it will be the first significant change at the club since American businessman Ellis Short took total control of the club.

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see also
Low-key role for Sunderland owner
28 May 09 |  Sunderland
Tycoon secures Sunderland buyout
27 May 09 |  Sunderland
Sbragia resigns from Sunderland
25 May 09 |  Sunderland
Yorke heads Sunderland clear-out
28 May 09 |  Sunderland
Strachan resigns as Celtic boss
25 May 09 |  Celtic
Sunderland 2-3 Chelsea
24 May 09 |  Premier League
What now for north-east football?
24 May 09 |  Football
Birmingham lose caretaker Black
27 Nov 07 |  Birmingham
Blues dispute leaves Bruce bitter
26 Nov 07 |  Wigan
Bruce confirmed as Wigan manager
23 Nov 07 |  Wigan

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