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McClean signs Sunderland contract

The youngster broke into the first team earlier this season and has proven a revelation under manager Martin O'Neill.

McClean was brought in by former manager Steve Bruce from Derry City last summer but has flourished under O'Neill, recently winning his first cap for the Republic of Ireland, and is widely tipped to make the squad for Euro 2012.

And the 22-year-old has expressed his delight at securing a new deal at the Stadium of Light, telling the club's official website: "I'm thrilled to be here. I'm really enjoying my football and to have earned a new contract is a dream.

"I'm over the moon to see my next three years with Sunderland."

O'Neill was equally emphatic over the deal, adding: "I'm absolutely delighted that James has committed himself to the club.

"He's had an explosive start to his career here at Sunderland and long may it continue."