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Fletcher heads to Wearside after deal is finally agreed
STEVEN Fletcher will travel to Wearside for personal talks this morning after Wolves finally accepted Sunderland's £12m offer for the striker yesterday afternoon.
After weeks of delicate negotiations, the two clubs have finally achieved a resolution that will see Fletcher moving to the Stadium of Light.
It is understood that the Black Cats have not increased their most recent offer despite Wolves' previous insistence that Fletcher would not be leaving Molineux for less than £15m.
However, the way in which the deal is structured has been altered in order to secure a resolution to an impasse that had lasted for the majority of the pre-season period.
Fletcher has now received permission to travel to the North-East, and Sunderland officials are hoping to agree personal terms and conduct a medical as quickly as possible.
The Scotland international's wages should not present a problem, and it is hoped his transfer will be formally ratified in time for him to line up in Saturday's Premier League home game with Reading.
His arrival represents a significant step forward for Martin O'Neill, who has pursued a number of alternatives in recent days, but who had never given up hope of landing Fletcher, his number one target since the end of last season.
Last weekend's goalless draw at Arsenal underlined the need for attacking reinforcements, with Louis Saha's arrival on a free transfer failing to compensate for the departure of Nicklas Bendtner at the start of the summer.
Fletcher scored 12 Premier League goals as Wolves were relegated last season, and the 25-year-old will spearhead a new-look Sunderland attack that could yet also feature Manchester City youngster John Guidetti.
O'Neill is one of 15 managers to have inquired about the Sweden international, who is regarded as one of the hottest properties in European football after a successful spell on loan at Dutch side Feyenoord last season.
Sunderland are still keen to secure Guidetti's services, although they will not be pursuing their interest in Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov provided the Fletcher transfer proceeds as planned.
They remain in discussions with Tottenham about defender Danny Rose and midfielder Jermaine Jenas. The latter has always been higher up their wanted list than his team-mate Tom Huddlestone, who yesterday joined Stoke City on a season-long loan.
The £12m committed to the capture of Fletcher does not preclude a bid for Manchester City's Adam Johnson, who remains a leading target despite competing interest from Liverpool, Everton and Spurs.
There are likely to be departures from Wearside before the end of the transfer window, and former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce is poised to move for both David Meyler and Ahmed Elmohamady. The Hull manager worked with both players during his time at the Stadium of Light.
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