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Kenwyne Jones.Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones will sign a new lucrative four-and-a-half-year deal today, the Echo understands. It is believed that the Black Cats have turned down a bid from Spurs which amounted to almost £20m.
The agreement will keep the powerhouse striker at the Stadium of Light until 2013 at least and provide the club with the time and space needed to fulfil Ricky Sbragia's plans of building a team around the Trinidad & Tobago international.

For Sunderland, it is a massive statement of intent that they are in the Premier League to compete with the elite, rather than just rub along.

And chairman Niall Quinn will also hope that the ambitious deal ends any speculation that the Wearsiders are to become a selling club in the wake of Pascal Chimbonda's £3m departure to Spurs yesterday afternoon.

Jones, a £6m signing from Southampton last summer, was last season's top scorer as Sunderland avoided relegation from the Premier League.

And this season he has scored seven goals in 12 starts since returning from a serious knee injury in November – a tally which has attracted the attention of clubs like Spurs and Aston Villa.

Spurs' pursuit of Jones in particular, has been determined, protracted and had an unsettling effect at Sunderland.

But the player's family is happy on Wearside, unlike Chimbonda's, and the lucrative contract for the striker has demonstrated how highly the club values him.

Although many newspapers were reporting this morning that Sunderland had turned down a £15m bid for the player, the reality is that the final deal put together to try prising the play away from Wearside was actually approaching a staggering £20m.

That would have dwarfed Sunderland's previous highest transfer sale – Michael Bridges' £5.5m transfer to Leeds United in 1999.

But Ricky Sbragia insisted on Saturday that the player was going nowhere and was adamant that he didn't want to sell his best players.

Likewise, Quinn is determined that Sunderland will not be cherry-picked of its most important talents, regardless of the fees involved.

For Quinn, Sbragia, Jones and Sunderland fans, the agreement of the new deal finally puts all the transfer talk to bed and allows the Black Cats to continue on their ongoing efforts to climb the Premier League table.

They host Fulham tonight in a game which Sbragia has targeted for all three points ahead of Sunday's derby game against Newcastle United and the visit of Stoke City to the Stadium of Light.

It will give Sunderland's 'new signing' his first opportunity to begin repaying Quinn and Sbragia's faith in him.