Sunderland are on the brink of signing Norwich midfielder Dickson Etuhu for £1.5m, the Coca-Cola Championship club have confirmed.
The 25-year-old turned down an improved contract offer from the Canaries at the weekend and is poised to move to the newly-promoted Premier League side after they activated a buy-out clause in the Nigerian’s contract.
Norwich chief executive Neil Doncaster told the club’s official website, www.canaries.co.uk: “We received an offer from Sunderland for Dickson on Saturday evening which meets a £1.5m buy-out clause in his contract.
“We are very disappointed to lose Dickson obviously, but the simple facts are Dickson turned down the offer of a new, more lucrative contract from Norwich City which was already on the table, in favour of Sunderland’s offer – and we are therefore forced to accept their offer under the terms of his contract.”
Etuhu signed for the Canaries in January 2006 after spending four years at Preston and scored six goals in 51 league starts.
Norwich have already sold striker Rob Earnshaw to Sunderland’s fellow Premier League new boys Derby while midfielder Youssef Safri has been linked with West Brom.
Team-mate Darren Huckerby spoke of his disappointment.
“We can’t afford to keep losing our best players,” Huckerby told the Norwich Evening News.
“Dickson looks like he is going somewhere else, Saff maybe, we have already lost Earnie – for a team that you would say struggled a little bit last season, to lose three of your best players, you can only go on like for that for so long.”
Etuhu’s imminent move to the north-east quickly follows Kieran Richardson’s arrival at the Stadium of Light from Manchester United.
Black Cats boss Roy Keane has also brought in Greg Halford, Russell Anderson and Michael Chopra this summer.