Sunderland close to Ben Haim move

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Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia has revealed he is close to signing Tal Ben Haim from Manchester City.

Sbragia confirmed the former Bolton and Chelsea centre-back could sign today.

Speaking after his side's 1-1 draw at Newcastle, Sbragia denied he was poised to sign Darren Bent from Tottenham, and said: "The one we've done is Tal Ben Haim. I think that's going to be done some time today. We need a defender and he's a good defender. I've worked with him previously and I know what I'm getting."

Sbragia admitted his team were "not lethal enough" when chances came their way at St James' Park.

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi's second-half spot-kick cancelled out Djibril Cisse's opener which had taken Sunderland into a half-time lead in the Barclays Premier League match.

"With the pressure they put on us (in the second half) we crumbled a little bit," Sbragia added.

He condemned the decision to award Newcastle their penalty, when Steven Taylor was adjudged to have been fouled by Steed Malbranque.

"I think Taylor's done the five-card trick and won the penalty," Sbragia said on Sky Sports News.

"I think more than likely the linesman is the closest man to it and he's not given it, and the referee is further away and given it after three or four seconds."

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Djibril Cisse
Tottenham Hotspur
Steven Taylor
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Steed Malbranque
Shola Ameobi
Darren Bent
Tal Ben Haim

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