Campbell first for Bruce's new-look Sunderland

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The Independent Football

Fraizer Campbell, the 21-year-old Manchester United forward who spent last season on loan at Tottenham, is set to become Steve Bruce's first signing as Sunderland manager.

Sunderland are believed to have agreed a fee of £3.5m with United for the England Under-21 international who is poised to sign a four-year contract. That fee will rise depending on his appearances at the Stadium of Light.

With Bruce also interested in Peter Crouch – Sunderland have made an initial offer of around £11m to Portsmouth – Bruce is trying to reshape the forward line at a club which managed only 34 Premier League goals last season.

Crouch's £70,000-a-week wages at Fratton Park have not deterred Sunderland and if they sign the England striker it will be another example of the economic muscle provided by new billionaire American owner Ellis Short.

Bruce clearly hopes that Crouch's physique and experience would tally with Campbell's speed. With Djibril Cissé having had his loan spell ended, Bruce needs some pace in his attack. Campbell was the loan makeweight in the transfer of Dimitar Berbatov to United but saw his opportunities at White Hart Lane limited.

The Tottenham connection extends to Crouch. The 28-year-old was signed last summer by Harry Redknapp but Redknapp's move to Tottenham meant their working relationship was cut short. The Spurs manager, though, is thought to be interested in reviving it. Fulham and Aston Villa are also interested but it is understood that Tottenham would be most attractive.

Redknapp, however, may wait to see if Villa up their interest as that could allow him to pursue either Emile Heskey or John Carew. Redknapp is also likely to see if there are implications for Kenwyne Jones at Sunderland – Spurs offered £16m for him in January.

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