John O’Shea last night spoke of his delight after putting pen to paper on a one-year deal with Championship outfit Reading.
The 37-year-old, who made his 118th and last appearance for Ireland in the 2-1 friendly win over the USA last weekend, is out of contract at Sunderland and will join the Royals on July 1.
“I’m delighted,” O’Shea said. “The last couple of weeks I’ve been chatting to the manager (Paul Clement) and getting a feel for the place. I’m looking forward to getting started now.”
Clement said: “John has played and won at the very highest level — he has won five Premier League titles, been part of a European Cup-winning side and earned 118 caps for his country.
“He will bring us fantastic levels of experience and proven leadership qualities.”
O’Shea played 40 times for the Black Cats last season, but could not help them avoid relegation to League One.
That did not put Clement off, though, who added: “We looked very carefully at John’s recent playing statistics and he played a total of 40 games for Sunderland last season; he is still incredibly fit and a hugely motivated individual.
“So we look forward to him being a big contributor out on the pitch next season.”
Meanwhile, Sean Maguire has signed a new three-year deal with Preston, a deal which will see the Ireland striker remain at Deepdale until the end of the 2020-21 season.
The former Cork City centre-forward joined Preston last summer and made an immediate impression in the Championship, his goals helping Preston to a seventh-place finish, just missing out on a place in the play-offs.
Maguire missed a large chunk of the season as a result of a hamstring strain, yet still finished as the club’s top scorer, netting 10 times in 24 appearances.
“I have improved a lot since I signed for Preston North End and that’s what I want to continue doing,” said Maguire.
“I have come on leaps and bounds since I started my first campaign last August and I want to continue improving and there is no better club to do that with than Preston North End.
“We set the bar last season, finishing seventh and we want to take this club to the top tier and I think next season we need to push on.”
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