By Tom Blackburn
Sunderland have beaten Newcastle to the signing of Manchester United defender Paddy McNair, it was announced on Thursday morning.
The Black Cats have said McNair and Donald Love in a double deal from United after they underwent medicals at Sunderland on Wednesday.
Sunderland confirmed on their official Twitter account and website that the pair had both signed four-year deals.
The fee is undisclosed but the Telegraph claim Sunderland will pay up to £7million for Northern Ireland utility man McNair made up of a £5million up-front fee plus £2million of add-ons.
McNair, 21, had been high on Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s shortlist as the Spaniard looks to continue his St James’ Park revolution.
Sky Sports chief reporter and transfer expert Kaveh Solhekol claimed on his personal Twitter account at the end of last week that Newcastle were in a four-team tussle to sign McNair, with the player also interesting Premier League sides Sunderland, Burnley and Middlesbrough.
McNair played an important part for his country this summer, featuring in two of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 matches as they progressed from the group stages to the round of 16.
McNair has demonstrated his versatility by excelling in a defensive midfield role for his country, while he has also played at right-back and centre-back for his club.
Newcastle have signed eight players in this summer’s window but only one of them, right-back Jesus Gamez, is a defender, although the versatile Isaac Hayden can slot in at centre-back in addition to his new midfield enforcer position.
In other Newcastle news, new captain Janmaal Lascelles explains the one important change made at the club.