SUNDERLAND will be made to wait by Spurs in their bid to broker a loan deal for Nico Kranjcar – despite finally managing to unload Northern Ireland flop George McCartney.
McCartney has re-joined West Ham on a season-long loan, bringing to end a disastrous second spell at the Stadium of Light – where the suspicion is he was never truly sold on returning to the North East in the first place.
Signed by Roy Keane in a £7million deal in 2008, McCartney was viewed as a major part of the side the then Black Cats boss wanted to “move on a level”.
However, despite playing regularly under Keane, he lost his place when Bruce took over. As one of the biggest earners in the squad, his departure will free up wages and funds for the Sunderland boss to finally add the left-sided player he believes is the final piece of the Black Cats jigsaw.
Kranjcar is one of Bruce’s top targets but initial enquiries with Tottenham have been unsuccessful.
Spurs will not move the talented Croatia international on until Harry Redknapp can make further additions to his squad – and even then they would prefer to negotiate a permanent deal with interested parties.
Sunderland want a temporary switch but they will have to sit tight until the end of the transfer window.
That scenario is also confronting them in their bid for Manchester City’s unwanted forward Craig Bellamy.
The Sunderland boss confirmed he was still on the lookout for potential recruits with sufficient quality to add to his squad.
He swooped for Derry City winger James McClean earlier in the week in a £350,000 deal, but has indicated the winger will not be the answer to his left wing question. Bruce said: “The squad size is good at the moment – ï am very pleased with what we have done,.
“As James McClean has shown, a manager’s work is never done. If there is someone out there who we feel would be a good addition to the squad then we are in a position to act.”
As for McCartney, he is welcoming the chance to rebuild a career which had stalled after an unsuccessful loan spell at Leeds last year – where his attitude was criticised by chairman Ken Bates at the end of the season.
McCartney said: “It is brilliant to be coming back. For me it will be great to be playing again for a club like West Ham.
“It is a big opportunity for me and I cannot wait to get started again.”
Meanwhile, Bruce has confirmed John O’Shea will not be involved at Anfield on Saturday.
A hamstring strain has troubled the former Manchester United man since the start of the club’s tour of Germany and he is not yet fully recovered.
The Sunderland boss said: “We do not think he will feature and it would be unwise of me to rush him back.
“He is close, but he has a hamstring strain so we have to make sure he is right.
“When he is right and plays we will be all the better for it because John O’Shea is a big acquisition.”