Sunderland have signed Arsenal’s Daniel Ballard after his planned move to Burnley fell through.
Earlier this week, ChronicleLive reported that Sunderland were pushing to sign Daniel Ballard from Arsenal, taking advantage of Burnley’s failure to complete a deal.
The move was officially confirmed on Thursday.
Sunderland were reportedly always in the running for Ballard but it initially looked as if they were going to miss out.
Once Burnley were out of the race, however, the Black Cats stepped up their interest.
Speaking to the Sunderland website, Ballard said, “It feels amazing to be here and I’m extremely happy.
“The fan base and size of this football club speaks for itself and having been up here to have a look around, it feels like an exciting place to be.
“Supporters can expect to see a player who loves defending and tackling – I’m more of a traditional centre half and I want to add those qualities to the team, whilst also bringing something a little extra.
“I’m now looking to take the next step forward in my career and I believe this is the perfect place to do it.”
Sunderland weren’t the only club with an interest. Ballard’s former loan sides Millwall and Blackpool were also both keen and there was also interest from abroad.
The Athletic reported over the weekend that Ballard’s move to Burnley had broken down as terms could not be agreed.
Ballard had been in Burnley for a medical, after being convinced to join the club by new manager Vincent Kompany. But the deal the collapsed.
In the Burnley deal, Arsenal intended to include a matching clause and a sell-on clause in the contract, giving them first right of refusal on a future sale, and a cut of the profits if they didn’t want to buy Ballard back.
The Gunners presumably included those terms in their deal with Sunderland.
The initial fee agreed with Burnley wasn’t reported to be particularly high, with some claiming it was as low as £2m. It was the add-ons and sale clauses that would’ve made Arsenal the real money.
That likely helped Sunderland, who perhaps don’t have a huge amount to spend this summer but can afford a deal like that over the long term.