With the 2010/11 season coming to an end and summer edging closer, Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has reiterated his desire to fight to keep in form striker Danny Welbeck rather than send him back to Manchester United.
“Welbeck is still the big thing this summer,” Bruce told reporters.
“Keeping him is our number one aim. If not, I have to find a replacement.
“Danny’s done so well for us, he’s probably had the best year of his career here and it’s propelled him into the England squad.”
Bruce said Welbeck’s game time at Sunderland has been the key to the youngster getting his talent up to speed in the Barclays Premier League.
“Before he came to us I don’t think he’d played six straight games in three years,” Bruce said.
“We’ll do everything we can but it’s very difficult to buy a 19, 20-year-old with the world at his feet off Manchester United.
“We’ll try our best, no matter what it cost, I can say that.”
Bruce faces a fight to keep Welbeck, with Sir Alex Ferguson making it clear he wants Welbeck back at Manchester United in the summer.
“What we are good at is bringing young players to the club, like Chicharito.
“We're good at that and I don't think we should change what we're good at. When we identify the right young players, that's the way we'll go,” the United manager said, hinting at plans to bring Welbeck back.