Kenwyne Jones has committed himself to Sunderland by signing a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the north-east side. The 24-year-old Trinidad and Tobago striker had been the subject of a transfer window bid from Sunderland's fellow Premier League strugglers Tottenham Hotspur which angered Black Cats boss Ricky Sbragia.
So Jones's decision to extend his contract on Tuesday left the Sunderland manager feeling understandably elated. "I'm absolutely delighted that Kenwyne has committed to the club for the long term," Sbragia told Sunderland's official website.
Meanwhile Jones added: "I know what Ricky is about and what he wants to do. He has big plans for the club to take it to the next step and hopefully, in the next couple of seasons, that could happen."
Jones, who played under Harry Redknapp when the now Tottenham manager was briefly in charge of Southampton, joined Sunderland from the Saints for £6 million before the start of the 2007/08 season. He scored seven goals in his first campaign for the Wearside club but impressed then-manager Roy Keane with his all-round contribution.
Jones's Sunderland career suffered a setback when in June he damaged knee ligaments in a clash with England goalkeeper David James during a friendly international in Port-of-Spain. It wasn't until 25 October that Jones, who came on as a substitute, made his first Sunderland appearance this season during the 2-1 derby victory over Newcastle. He has since scored seven goals up front alongside Djibril Cisse.
Spurs made a determined effort to bring Jones to north London, with some reports suggesting they'd offered £6 million plus striker Darren Bent. But Sbragia, who replaced Keane in December, stressed he didn't want to sell and slammed Spurs' tactics.
However, Redknapp - who has re-signed Pascal Chimboda from the Black Cats during the January transfer window and also taken goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini from London rivals Chelsea - said Monday his chairman Daniel Levy had been holding talks regarding Jones with Sunderland counterpart Niall Quinn
"If you don't want to sell him you say 'no, thank you very much'. That is the end of it.... Don't talk if you don't want to sell," Redknapp said. "If you asked me if I wanted to sell my car and I said 'no', that is the end of it. You don't keep ringing me up."