Steve Bruce has signed a three-year deal to take charge of Sunderland.

The Black Cats set about a search for a new manager following Ricky Sbragia’s decision to step down after guiding the club to safety.

Bruce quickly emerged as the leading contender, but Wigan chairman Dave Whelan dug his heels in a bid to retain his services.

Common ground was found at the start of the week when it was believed that a compensation package was agreed.

This paved the way for Sunderland to thrash out a deal with Bruce and he put his name to a three-year deal on Wednesday, much to the delight of Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn.

"Steve will bring a professionalism and strength of character to this club that will really help to bring us forward to where we all want to be,” Quinn told the club’s official website.

“He knows more than anyone what football means to people of this region and I'm confident that he will be able to instill into our players exactly what it means to play for this football club."

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