Premier League

Bruce hopes for Crouch arrival

Black Cats boss expects decision within the next 48 hours

Bruce: Waiting on Crouch

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Sunderland manager Steve Bruce hopes to hear by the weekend whether he has been successful in his talks with Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch.

The England international is in the North East for discussions with the Black Cats, but it has emerged that Fulham and possibly Tottenham are looking to scupper the move.

Bruce recognises there is competition for Crouch and he has his fingers crossed that he will be able to convince the 28-year-old, who is understood to be set to hold meetings with Fulham on Friday, to switch to the Stadium of Light.

Speaking after Thursday's 4-0 friendly victory at Darlington, Bruce said: "We have spoken to him today with his agent. It was good to see him up here. Let's keep our fingers crossed now.

"I believe there's a bit of competition in there, but let's keep our fingers crossed because he is the type of signing that would obviously set our intentions of where we want to be.

Develop

"But we will see what develops over the next 24, 48 hours."

Asked if he felt the talks had gone well, Bruce, who will take his squad to Portugal at the weekend, replied: "I am always an optimist - I hope so, but we will keep our fingers crossed.

"We have had him up, we have done our utmost, the club has backed me. We have done everything we possibly can and if we can pull it off, it will be a terrific signing for the club.

"The intention is there for everybody to see. I have got him a bit of sun tan lotion for Portugal - I'll see him on the beach! I think we will know in the next 48 hours."

Questioned about the link with Fulham, Bruce said: "So I am led to believe.

"I didn't bring that into the equation, I just showed him what we had to offer and what a football club we had.

McShane injury

"Location is the big thing, probably, in it, but we will do our utmost - and we have. That's all we can do."

Bruce's evening was marred by a knee injury to Republic of Ireland defender Paul McShane.

"He will have a scan tomorrow. We have taken him home and he will have some sort of scan tomorrow. We will not know the extent until we get the result of that," added the Black Cats boss.

"It could be cartilage damage, it's as serious as that. That's what our fear is."