Queens Park Rangers have completed the signing of experienced Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne on a one-year deal as the club aim to make an immediate return to the Premier League.
The 33-year-old hasn’t played competitive club football for over a year because of an Achilles injury, but he made a return to action during Ireland’s friendly against Georgia in June.
R’s manager Harry Redknapp has been a long-time admirer of the former Manchester City captain and was in the hunt for a centre-back after Christopher Samba was sold to Anzhi Makhachkala.
Dunne becomes the West London club’s second signing of the close season after fellow Bosman signing Danny Simpson moved to Loftus Road, further strengthening their defensive resources.
Redknapp believes the no-nonsense defender will be a valuable addition to his squad and feels he’s the type of player the club need in order to succeed in a difficult division.
“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 told the club’s official website.
“He was [Manchester] 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.
“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, who has 77 Republic of Ireland caps to his name, will link up with his new team-mates for the first time when the Hoops' squad travel to Austria for a pre-season tour on Tuesday.
Commenting on his move to Loftus Road, the Dublin-born defender expressed his delight at securing a contract after a nightmare twelve months.
“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.” Dunne said.
“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.” He concluded.