Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph will join English Championship side Birmingham City this summer when his contract at Motherwell ends, it has been confirmed. The 26-year-old has agreed a two-year deal at St Andrew's and will move south at the end of the current Scottish Premier League season.
After arriving at Fir Park in 2010 from Charlton, the goalkeeper established himself as the club's number one and as a result of some impressive performances, broke into Giovanni Trapattoni's Irish squad. He made his international debut in last September's 4-1 friendly victory over Oman in London and has been included in the squad for the upcoming games against England, Georgia and Spain as well as the crucial World Cup qualifier against Faroe Islands.
Randolph will officially become a Birmingham City player on July 1 after playing 136 times in Claret and Amber and keeping 46 clean sheets including a club record 19 in a season back in 2010-11. The Bray-born 'keeper said he would leave Fir Park with fond memories but is looking forward to a new challenge.
"Following three fantastic years at Motherwell, I wanted to put on record my sincerest thanks to the staff and fans at Fir Park for their great support during my stay at the club," he told Motherwell's official website.
"With my contract due to expire at the end of the month, and after discussing my future with close friends and family, it now feels like the right time to seek a fresh challenge.
"I will be taking some great memories with me and hope that I will still be welcomed back to the club in the future. I will certainly keep an eye out for Motherwell's results next season and beyond," he concluded.
Randolph began his senior career at Charlton Athletic and went on to enjoy loan spells with Welling United, Accrington Stanley, Gillingham, Bury and Hereford before heading north of the border on a permanent basis in July 2010.
Speaking on his move to the midlands, he added the size and ambition of the club was a major factor in his decision to leave Scotland.
"I wanted to come here because of the size of the club and it would be great to be a part of a club like this," he said. "The manager wants to achieve things at this club and after speaking to him I was sold. I've proven myself in the SPL and now it's time that I came down here and did the same in the Championship."
The arrival of Randolph will be of huge relief to Blues boss Lee Clark who has been chasing the signature of the former Charlton net minder for a couple of months now. With Jack Butland on his way to Stoke City and the future of fellow Irish 'keeper Colin Doyle still unclear, Randolph is expected to become the first choice at St. Andrew’s as the club look to gain promotion back to the Premier League after a disappointing season.
Meanwhile, Irish defender Sean McGinty, who cost Manchester United about £1million when signed as a hugely promising teenager from Charlton's academy, has had his contract 'terminated by mutual consent' by the Premier League champions.
The 19-year-old was sent back from a loan spell at Tranmere Rovers prematurely last month after a serious breach of club discipline, with the player not turning up for training. He was already in hot water with management at Old Trafford after being convicted of drink-driving last year.