Sunderland sign wonderkid Wickham

Sunderland have signed highly-rated England Under-21 striker Connor Wickham for a fee that could rise to £12 million, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old, who joins from Championship side Ipswich Town, has signed a four-year deal, with the Suffolk side revealing the initial fee as £8.1 million.

"Sunderland have pulled off a huge coup with the signing of Ipswich star Connor Wickham," Sunderland said in a statement on their website.

Wickham, who recently returned from the European Under-21 championship in Denmark, was named the best young player outside the Premier League last season.

He made his debut for Ipswich at the age of just 16 and went on to score 15 goals in 72 club appearances.

"I'm so excited, Sunderland are a massive club with amazing facilities. I can't wait to get started," the striker told the club's official website.

Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were all linked with moves for the promising forward, but Steve Bruce's side have stolen a march on their more established Premier League rivals.