James McClean bags West Brom move

Ireland international James McClean is back in the Premier League after completing a move to West Brom last night.

James McClean bags West Brom move

The 26-year-old Derry man has joined from Sky Bet League One side Wigan for an undisclosed fee and is tied to the Baggies for three years, with the club retaining an option to extend the deal for a further 12 months.

He becomes Baggies boss Tony Pulis’s first signing of the summer. “I’m delighted,” said McClean last night. “I’ve played in the Premier League before and not only am I back here, but I’m with a stable top-flight club and one that wants to push on.

“Tony Pulis told me what his plans were, where I would fit in. It was all very positive. The Premier League is where any player wants to be.”

The former Sunderland and Derry City player’s club career appeared to have stalled in recent months and he is eager to test himself at the top level once again.

“I’m very ambitious. Everything about this move seems right for me – I’m very positive about it. Once the Albion came in this was a move I was keen to get done – this is a big club and a new chapter for me.”

Pulis said: “James has had a couple of indifferent years with Wigan but he did well at Sunderland and we’re very pleased to have him on board.”

Meanwhile Chelsea captain John Terry accepts goalkeeper Petr Cech will be sorely missed if he leaves Stamford Bridge and believes he is worth up to 15 points a season should he sign with Arsenal.

The Gunners are widely reported to be close to a deal for the veteran Czech stopper, who appears set to leave the Premier League champions and would prefer to keep his family in London.

Cech — who played an instrumental role in Chelsea’s success since joining from Rennes in 2004 — may have found himself now as understudy to Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, but Terry is in no doubt of just what an important player the 33-year-old can be.

In an interview given to talkSPORT from China, where the former England defender is on a promotional tour, Terry said: “I am sure if he does leave the club, which nobody wants to see, but we understand he wants to play football, he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to.” Terry added: “There is obviously talk of Arsenal signing Petr and if they do get Pete, that will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 to 15 points a season.” Chelsea are expected to improve their own squad again next season.

A season long loan deal with Monaco for Colombia forward Radamel Falcao is expected to be completed after Manchester United opted against making the striker’s temporary move permanent at the end of the season.

Terry believes Chelsea cannot afford to stand still if they are to stay ahead of the chasing pack in 2015/2016.

“To be top of the league the whole way through the season was an exceptional thing to do, but you can’t kind of dwell on that. We have to start concentrating on next season and try to improve on that again,” Terry said.

“When you win the league, you know teams go and spend money to buy the best. Manchester City were a little way off this year and will strengthen.

“I feel Arsenal and Manchester United are going to be very strong as well.

“We all know once you win it, everyone wants to beat you the following year, (so) it will be even harder for us to win the league again.” Chelsea are set for a pre-season tour of the United States, where striker Bertrand Traore is expected to be part of the squad after he was granted a work permit.

The 19-year-old Burkina Faso forward, registered as a Chelsea player since January 2014, was sent on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, where he scored 13 goals last season.

Meanwhile Danny Ings has pledged to become the best he can be after securing a dream move to Liverpool. An impressive maiden top-flight season with Burnley has led to the 22-year-old agreeing a deal to swap Turf Moor for Anfield.

Ings will make the move at the end of his contract on July 1, continuing a remarkable ascent which started on the south coast. A graduate of the Bournemouth youth system, he spent part of the 2010/11 season on loan in the Conference South with Dorchester Town before returning to the Cherries and then moving on to Burnley.

“Words can’t describe it, the move that I’ve got for myself,” Ings said after helping England Under-21s to a 1-0 win against Sweden. At the same time, I’ve worked my way from the bottom, so it is even more special for me.

“It is a challenge I am looking forward to. I never sort of get complacent with anything like that and now I’ve got that move I will work even harder to try and get into that team and be the best professional I can be.” Norwich have confirmed the signing of former West Brom midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu on a free transfer.

The 28-year-old DR Congo international will join the Canaries on July 1 when his contract at The Hawthorns expires.

Aston Villa midfielder Yacouba Sylla has joined French side Rennes on a four-year contract after two-and-a-half years at Villa Park. Sylla joins Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann in leaving the Barclays Premier League club as Villa manager Tim Sherwood continues to re-shape his squad ahead of next season, while it is understood Matt Lowton will join Burnley subject to a successful medical.

Southampton have brought in Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg on a season-long loan from Fulham to provide cover for the injured Fraser Forster.

In Scotland, Rangers manager Mark Warburton is closing in on his first signing with talks progressing with Wigan defender and former Ireland U21 captain Rob Kiernan. Kiernan, 24, came through the youth ranks when Warburton worked at Watford. Warburton said: “He’s a very talented player. He is technically very good, 6ft 3in, comfortable at Championship level down south.”

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