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Sunderland boss Bruce aware of Fulham competition for Crouch

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce knows he's facing competition from Fulham for Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch.

Bruce confirmed last night talks with the England international and said: "I am always an optimist - I hope so, but we will keep our fingers crossed.

"We have had him up, we have done our utmost, the club has backed me. We have done everything we possibly can and if we can pull it off, it will be a terrific signing for the club.

"The intention is there for everybody to see. I have got him a bit of sun tan lotion for Portugal - I'll see him on the beach!

"I think we will know in the next 48 hours."

Crouch began his career as a trainee at White Hart Lane, but never made a senior appearance.

But he has worked under Spurs boss Harry Redknapp twice before, at Southampton and Pompey.

However, it is understood Fulham may be next to get the chance to tempt him away from Fratton Park.

Questioned about the link with Fulham, Bruce said: "So I am led to believe.

"I didn't bring that into the equation, I just showed him what we had to offer and what a football club we had.

"Location is the big thing, probably, in it, but we will do our utmost - and we have. That's all we can do."

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Tribal Football Staff

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