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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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Shamrock Rovers announce record transfer of Bazunu to Manchester City

The 16-year-old goalkeeper will join the Premier League club after he completes his Leaving Cert.

Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS HAVE this evening confirmed the long-rumoured transfer of goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu to English Premier League champions Manchester City.

The Dublin-born 16-year-old will remain with Rovers until he completes his Leaving Cert exams next summer.

According to the Hoops, the undisclosed fee is the biggest earned by an Irish club “in the professional era”. The record had been held by Roy O’Donovan, who joined Sunderland from Cork City for €500,000 in 2007.

“The progress of Gavin is a result of the academy and first-team football staff working together towards the same goal of producing the right players and people for our first-team,” explained a Shamrock Rovers press release.

“We are already seeing the benefits of this strategy; it creates an additional revenue stream for the club which allows us to further invest in the club as a whole, with the ultimate goal of winning trophies at first-team level in the near future.”

The release adds: “To break the trend of young boys leaving Ireland with no education and very little in terms of a contract, this transfer is a defining moment for our club and for Irish football.

“We are very proud that our club has the vision, intent and drive to put in place support networks to develop our players in all aspects of their lives.”

Bazunu burst onto the scene when he was handed his first-team debut for Rovers in June, just four months after his 16th birthday.

The Republic of Ireland U17 international kept clean sheets in each of his first four matches, earning his side a point with a brilliant penalty save against champions Cork City.

Bazunu also impressed during both legs of their Europa League tie against AIK of Sweden.

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Paul Dollery

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