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Confirmed: Sunderland Bag Brighton's Bridcutt

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A fifth January addition has been confirmed. It's a predictable, but important, one.

Brendon Thorne

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Sunderland have completed the signing of Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Bridcutt was exceptionally highly rated by Gus Poyet during his time on the south coast, and the former-Chelsea youngster has been Sunderland's top midfield target all month.

The fee is believed to be in the region of £3m for the 24-year-old.

That Bridcutt would end up at Sunderland this month was always pretty much inevitable. He hasn't been playing for Brighton in recent weeks having declared himself lacking the sufficient mental focus after seeing an official transfer request turned down.

The real question now is how Sunderland look to balance the books a little. Financial Fair Play tends to demand such things these days. Lee Cattermole has been heavily linked with a move to Stoke, although Craig Gardner may also be a target for a couple of clubs. David Vaughan is also expected to make his loan switch to Nottingham Forest a permanent one, so Bridcutt's arrival doesn't necessarily have to herald a first team regular making way.

Who knows what transfer deadline day has in store for us, really.