Sunderland are set to complete their acquisition of Grant Leadbitter from Middlesbrough within the next 24 hours.
The 33-year-old, who hasn’t enjoyed much game time at Boro this season, has long been linked with a return to the club where he started his career.
Both clubs were on the verge of agreeing on a deal for the midfielder last summer, though a disagreement on the player’s wages forced the move to fall through.
Still, while it appears that the Black Cats have got the man which they wanted, reports claims they won’t be paying the full wages of Leadbitter.
Instead, apart from having the luxury of signing the 33-year-old on a free transfer, Sunderland will only pay him £5,000 a week, with Middlesbrough likely to foot the remaining amount of his £20,000 a week wages.
Boro will continue to pay the remaining wages of Leadbitter until June 30, after which his contract with the club will expire. If the deal goes through as expected, Leadbitter would become Sunderland’s 2nd signing of this transfer window.
Mikel to take Leadbitter’s place
Had it not been for the arrival of John Obi Mikel at Middlesbrough, Boro would like have not sanctioned the move of Leadbitter away from the club.
However, with the 3-time Premier League winning midfielder in his team, Boro manager Tony Pulis felt he had enough depth in the squad to cope with the departure of the veteran midfielder.
Still, there remain some question marks regarding the match fitness of the 31-year-old as he hasn’t featured in a competitive fixture since the 2018 World Cup.