Sunderland sad over Stead

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Sunderland have confirmed that they failed with a last-minute approach for striker Jonathan Stead, who has opted for a move to Blackburn Rovers.

The 20-year-old has been the subject of three offers from Rovers and they finally look to have landed their man just before the deadline.

Sunderland were the first club to make any offer for Stead when they tried to buy him from Huddersfield in October.

They have maintained their interest and matched Blackburn's offer after learning of their move for him - but it was too late.

"We're disappointed not to get Jon Stead and I personally feel let down by his agent," said Sunderland chairman Bob Murray.

"We faxed an improved offer to Huddersfield, it was accepted and they gave us permission to talk to the player.

"We thought it was happening and then his agent rang later saying that Jon had decided to go to Blackburn - despite stating over the weekend that he only wanted to come to Sunderland. This was totally contrary to all our earlier conversations."