WEST BROM have confirmed the signing of Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner.

Gardner will officially become a Baggies player on a Bosman free on July 1 after passing a medical and putting pen to paper on a three-year deal. There's also an option for a further year.

West Brom claim to have beaten off stiff competition for the 27-year-old and director of football administration Richard Garlick said: "Craig is someone we have followed for a long time and we are delighted to finally get him.

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"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.

"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."

Gardner has been the subject of interest from West Brom for the last few transfer windows.