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Football: Graham leaves Swansea for Sunderland

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Sunderland have completed the signing of striker Danny Graham from Swansea City for a reported fee of £5million ($7.9 million, 5.8 million euros), the club announced on Thursday.

Graham, 27, decided to leave Swansea after losing his place in the starting XI to Spanish close-season signing Michu and leaves despite the prospect of playing in the League Cup final against Bradford City on February 24.

He has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at the Stadium of Light.

"As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland, I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table," Graham told the Sunderland website.

"I was born and brought up in the north-east (of England) so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world -- it's special and there's nowhere else like it."

Graham hails from Newcastle, home of Sunderland's sworn enemies Newcastle United, and was booed by his new club's fans in Tuesday's meeting between Sunderland and Swansea, but he said his background would not be a problem.

"Of course, I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I've always given 100 percent no matter what team I play for and no matter who I play against," he said.

"It's up to me to show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt, and I'm excited about playing for a club as big as this.

"I'm really excited about the future. This is a new phase of my career and I can't wait to get started."

The departures of Fraizer Campbell, Louis Saha and South Korean striker Ji Dong-won, who has joined German club Augsburg on loan, had left Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham as the only senior strikers on Sunderland's books.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130131/football-graham-leaves-swansea-sunderland