West Ham United have allowed George McCartney to leave for Sunderland after his written transfer request was accepted.
The club received a substantial undisclosed fee for McCartney, who said his desire to leave was due to family reasons. Despite signing a new five-year contract in July and the club rejecting Sunderland's initial approach earlier in the summer, McCartney subsequently handed in a written transfer request.
Explaining his reasons to fans, McCartney said: "I had two great seasons with West Ham and I'd like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to play for a club with the history they have and their fantastic supporters. But for personal reasons alone, this is the right move for me.
"My wife, Elaine, didn't settle in London and Sunderland have offered me the chance to return to the north-east, where I spent ten years after joining the club as a youngster," McCartney added. "I'd like to wish West Ham and Alan Curbishley all the very best of luck."
West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said: "We had no intention of selling George McCartney but it became clear in the last couple of days after he handed in a written transfer request that he was desperate to move on for family reasons. Once Sunderland came in with an improved offer, we decided the deal was in the best interests of all parties."