Australia international goalkeeper Ryan has joined Belgium outfit Club Brugge on a three-year deal, having announced the move on Twitter
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Mat Ryan's move from the Central Coast Mariners to Belgium outfit Club Brugge is official, with a three-year contract announced Friday.
It is believed Ryan has a strong chance to become Club Brugge's first-choice goalkeeper, opening the possibility of him playing in the Europa League, where the Belgian Pro League club will enter in the third qualifying round.
The 21-year-old Australia international flew out of Sydney on Monday for a medical, after a transfer fee was settled to end his A-League experience with A-League champions Central Coast.
Less than a year after trials with Tottenham and West Brom led nowhere, the prodigious talent - a two-time A-League goalkeeper of the season - has won his first long-term European contract.
The Mariners claimed they received a "sizeable transfer fee" for Ryan from Club Brugge, with a sell-on fee included.
"I am very happy to announce that today I have signed with Club Brugge for the next three seasons," Ryan said on Twitter.
Club Brugge sporting director Arnar Gretarsson explained the club's delight at Ryan's signing: "He has been playing three years for the Australian top team Central Coast Mariners," Gretarsson said. "Despite his young age he has gathered a lot of experience and he has been elected twice as best goalkeeper of Australia.
"This year he has celebrated the title with his team in the A-League. Another asset of Ryan is his attitude and mindset."
Club Brugge have also reportedly shown interest in Mariner Bernie Ibini, though the forward has been heavily linked with a move to Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.
On Thursday, the Mariners hit out at reports Ibini had already sealed a deal to move to Asia.
But were more than happy to farewell Ryan: "Today is a proud day for our football club," group general manager Peter Turnbull said.
"Club Brugge are one of the most respected clubs in Europe. They have a long, proud history and a strong record, like us, of taking players to the next level in their careers.
"We commend Mathew for his effort, professionalism and performances while at the Mariners and wish him great success in the Belgian Pro League and with the Socceroos in the future."