Bruce: I can't afford Stephen Ireland

Bruce: I can't afford Stephen Ireland

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has played down his chances of signing unsettled Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland, saying that the former Irish international “earns a hell of a lot of money”.

Although Bruce expressed admiration for the skills of the Cobh native, he doubts he has the resources to tempt the player to the Stadium of Light.

“Stephen Ireland’s a wonderful footballer, a very gifted individual,” said Bruce. “But I think he earns a hell of a lot of money, which prices everybody out of the market, unfortunately.”

He was more upbeat about the prospect of securing Sol Campbell’s signature, but admitted that the former Arsenal man, now a free agent, is wanted by a number of clubs.

“We’re in there, we’ve had a conversation with the boy,” said Bruce. “We’re up against a few others, so we’ll see what develops.”

Bruce played down speculation linking him to another out-of-contract player, former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling.

“Dan Gosling, I think, is signing for Newcastle,” said Bruce. “I’ve read all the speculation, but we weren’t really, really in the race.”

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