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Peter Crouch move not happening

Sunderland have pulled the plug on a move for Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch. The Black Cats had agreed a fee believed to be £12m with the south coast club, and Crouch travelled to the Stadium of Light with his agent for talks with Sunderland manager Steve Bruce. However, it emerged today that Crouch would prefer to stay in the south of the country, with London clubs Fulham and Tottenham also interested in the striker.

Crouch, who has scored 16 goals in 34 games for the England national team, was quoted as saying that he was unpleased with the unstable condition that Portsmouth were in while the future of the club was uncertain. However, now that the club has been taken over by United Arab Emirates businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim, and Paul Hart has been named as permanent manager, Crouch may feel that his future lies with Portsmouth after all now that the club has some stability.

Meanwhile, Bruce has indicated he is still chasing other targets. The club had a £6m bid rejected by Wigan Athletic for England under-21 midfielder Lee Cattermole. Bruce is contemplating whether to up the offer to try and persuade Latics manager Roberto Martinez to sell.

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