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Richard Dunne signs for QPR on free transfer

The Irish defender has today been unveiled by the London club and has signed a one-year deal.

Dunne has officially signed for QPR.
Dunne has officially signed for QPR.
Image: QPR

Updated at 17.11

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL RICHARD Dunne has signed for QPR on a free transfer for an initial one-year deal, the club confirmed today.

The defender, who was recently released by Aston Villa, had been strongly linked with a move to the London club, with chief executive Phil Beard earlier this week confirming that they were interested in the Irish player.

And Dunne was officially unveiled as a QPR player today, while he will also be named in the club’s pre-season squad as they prepare to travel to Austria.

Harry Redknapp has long been a fan of the Irish defender, who he previously attempted to buy while manager at both Tottenham and Portsmouth.

The QPR coach lavished praised on the 33-year-old after the deal was announced, telling the club’s official website:

“This is a great signing for us. He’s a top-class defender and a great guy. He’s a good character and just what we need.

“He was City’s Player of the Year four years running, and he will be fantastic at this football club. He’s exactly the type I’m looking for.”

Redknapp also acknowledged that Dunne has had serious injury problems of late, and said that they had the option of cancelling his contract should he suffer a recurrence of these issues.

“Obviously he had his problems last season with the injury but there’s an agreement in place that if he breaks down, the contract can be ended. He’s confident he’ll be okay and from our point of view, if he doesn’t have any problems with it then we’ve just signed a very, very good centre-half.”

Dunne added that he was delighted to sign for the club, saying he was determined to help them return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

“I’ve been very close to signing for Harry on a couple of occasions and the opportunity to work with him really appealed to me. Players want to play for Harry and I’m no different.

“I know the club didn’t have a good season last term, but – having spoken to Harry, as well as Tony (Fernandes) – there’s a real determination to bounce back into the Premier League, which is where we all want to be.

“I’ve played in the Championship and won it with Manchester City, so hopefully my experience will benefit the team over the course of the season.

“It’s a good challenge for me and one I’m very excited about.”

The news will come as welcome relief to Giovanni Trapattoni, who still sees Dunne as an integral part of his plans, and is hoping the player will be match fit for their pivotal World Cup qualifiers in the coming months.

The defender has not played competitive club football since the season before last as a result of a longstanding achilles injury, though he did feature in Ireland’s recent friendly with Georgia.

First published at 16.01

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Paul Fennessy

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