TOMMY Miller last night ended weeks of speculation by revealing he will sign for Sunderland next Wednesday.

The Shotton Colliery-born midfielder has been the subject of a transfer tug-of-war since the end of last season, with the Black Cats one of a number of clubs interested in securing his services.

After considering the various deals on offer, The Northern Echo can reveal that Miller spoke to Mick McCarthy yesterday and confirmed he would be signing for Sunderland.

The 26-year-old, who is currently on his honeymoon in Cyprus, will fly back into England next Tuesday.

He will undergo a medical at Sunderland's Academy of Light on Wednesday morning and, provided there are no unforeseen problems, will officially complete his move back to the North-East later that afternoon.

Miller's decision is a particular boost to McCarthy, as the Black Cats' boss had made him his number one transfer target this summer.

The former Hartlepool midfielder became a free agent at the end of last season and McCarthy first made contact when his previous club, Ipswich, lost to West Ham in the play-off semi-finals.

That defeat meant Ipswich were unable to match the terms of Miller's previous deal at Portman Road and, despite making bullish noises in public, Town boss Joe Royle was forced to privately concede he would be unable to hold on to a player who bagged 15 goals from midfield last term.

Sunderland were not the only club to make an approach though, with Leeds United wasting no time in promising to meet Miller's wage demands.

Scottish giants Celtic were also keen to pursue a deal, while Premiership newcomers Wigan made a last-ditch attempt to hijack his move to the Stadium of Light this week.

Ultimately, though, the lure of the North-East proved too strong for Miller, who was a boyhood Sunderland fan. He is no stranger to playing in the region, having scored 44 goals in 160 games for Hartlepool before moving to Suffolk for £750,000 in July 2001.

He then cemented his reputation with Ipswich, scoring 36 goals and forcing himself into contention for the Scottish national side, which he qualifies for thanks to a Scottish grandparent.

By moving to Wearside, Miller will be teaming up again with goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, who made a £1.25m switch from Ipswich to Sunderland this week.

Davis yesterday sought to quash rumours suggesting he had initially rebuffed the Black Cats' approaches as he was reluctant to uproot his family from their Suffolk base.

Reports had suggested the shot-stopper would have preferred to stay further south, something he categorically denies.

"I had a bit of a laugh when I saw those stories," said Davis. "What happened is that I got a call from Mick McCarthy and joked with him that Sunderland was a long way to come for a southern boy.

"I think that comment got back to my agent and, before long, there were stories around that I didn't want to come up here. Being prepared to move around is all part of the business of football and I'm looking forward to coming up here and setting up home."

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