New Black Cats deal for Bardsley
Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract which ties him to the Wearsiders until the summer of 2014.
The former Manchester United full-back's previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season but, having excelled in an unfamiliar left-sided role this season, he has convinced manager Steve Bruce he warrants an extension.
Bruce said: "Obviously there's a decision myself and the board have had to make and to be fair to Phil he has done very, very well. The last thing we wanted to do was to let Phil run into a Bosman situation. He has played his part, he is a valuable member of the squad and he has been rewarded for that."
Bardsley, who won his first Scotland cap against Spain last month, was pleased to commit his future to the Black Cats.
The 25-year-old told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "I'm delighted to be able to stay.
"Talks have been ongoing over the last couple of weeks and I'm really pleased to be here for the next three and a half years.
"It's a club which I enjoy being at, I love living up here, the lads and everything about being here. Being part of the manager's plans is great and I'm enjoying my football."