Premier League outfit Sunderland AFC have completed the transfer of Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham.
Wickham, who has just completed his two-year Apprenticeship with the Tractor Boys, has signed a four-year deal with the North East club.
The move is reported to have cost the Black Cat’s £8.1 million plus adds ons, meaning it could be worth in excess of £12 million, a figure that has surpassed Ipswich’s record selling fee.
The 18-year old frontman was the Football League Young Player of the Year 2010 and had been linked with a number of Premier League clubs up until Steve Bruce captured his signature.
The England Under-21 International told the club’s website: “Now everything is done and dusted, I just really can’t wait to get started.”
“Once the fee was agreed and I met with the manager, he basically told me everything about the club and the ambitions, and it was sold.”
Steve Bruce commented: “Naturally we are absolutely delighted he has chosen to come to Sunderland.”
“He’s still very young but at 6ft 3in he’s a physical presence. With his height and style of play he’ll offer us a threat in front of goal and complement our existing strikers.”
“We have been watching him for a while now and he is improving and developing all the time. He’s a great prospect and I’m sure our supporters will love watching him play.”
Wickham joined Ipswich Town as an Apprentice in May 2008 and since his debut as 16-year old, he has made 72 first-team appearances scoring 15 goals.
Ipswich Town’s Chief Executive Simon Clegg told the club’s website:
“As much as we would have liked to have kept Connor at Portman Road we have to be realistic and recognise that the offer from Sunderland was simply too good to turn down.”
“The deal is by far the biggest transfer fee this club has ever received. We are proud that he has developed through our academy and what he has achieved in his time here.”