x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Sunderland manager admits Crouch defeat

Steve Bruce has decided to end his interest in recruiting the England striker Peter Crouch for Sunderland.

Steve Bruce has decided to end his interest in recruiting the England striker Peter Crouch for Sunderland. The Sunderland manager met the 28-year-old Portsmouth forward on Wearside last Thursday to show him around the club and try to persuade him that his future lie at the Stadium of Light. Personal terms were agreed but Crouch's interest in a move to the North-east appear to have cooled with the tall striker said to favour staying in the south, with London clubs Tottenham and Fulham also enquiring about the former Liverpool player. Bruce expressed on the club's official website his disappointment in not being able to land his target, citing the club's location as a deciding factor, but said Sunderland fans should take heart at the club's efforts to sign players of Crouch's calibre in the first place. "Naturally this is hugely disappointing for us as Peter was one of our primary targets," said Bruce. "I know he was impressed with the set-up here when he came for talks, but it's simply a matter of geographical location and that's not something we can affect. "What's pleasing however is that it shows the intent of the club going forward that we are trying to bring in players of his calibre, and we will continue to pursue other targets." Bruce has already been successful in luring striker Frazier Campbell and the Paraguay defender Paulo da Silva to the Black Cats this summer but will now turn his attention to other targets after missing out on the former QPR, Aston Villa and Southampton man Crouch.

sluckings@thenational.ae *With Agencies