Bristol City seal loan deal for Ryan McGivern
BRISTOL City have agreed a deal to sign Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern on a season-long loan.
In the market for a left-sided defender since the end of last season, Robins boss Keith Millen finally landed his man last night, 24 hours ahead of the transfer deadline.
City have beaten off competition from npower Championship rivals Crystal Palace and Millwall and McGivern, currently on international duty with Northern Ireland, will join the Robins subject to passing a medical.
A no-nonsense defender, the versatile 21-year-old, pictured, can play at left-back or in central defence and will provide much-needed cover and competition for Jamie McAllister.
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Millen declined to comment, pending Football League ratification of the transfer later today. But he is delighted to have captured a player who is highly-rated by Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini. Recently returned to Eastlands following a successful one-month loan spell at Crystal Palace, McGovern this week signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Premier League club until 2013. In the meantime, Mancini wants the Irishman to continue his football education in the Championship.
Signed by Manchester City in July 2008, McGivern has made just one Premier League appearance for the Lancashire club, coming on as a substitute in a 5-0 thrashing of Sunderland in April this year.
Still to break into the first-team at Eastlands, he is accustomed to going out on loan, having previously spent spells with Morecambe, Leicester City and Walsall, before spending the first four weeks of this season at Selhurst Park.
A product of City's successful Academy, Newry-born McGivern was a member of the side that beat Chelsea in the final of the FA Youth Cup in 2008.
He subsequently joined League Two Morecambe on a short-term loan, making five appearances and scoring one goal for the Shrimpers in November 2008.
He made a further 12 appearances for Leicester City the following season, gaining valuable experience in the Championship and featuring for the Foxes in a 3-1 home defeat to Bristol City in December 2009.
League One Walsall took McGivern at the start of last season and the Irishman played 15 times for the Sadlers before returning to Eastlands.
More recently, he helped Crystal Palace make their best start to a campaign in nearly a decade, making five appearances for the Selhurst Park club.
Eagles manager Dougie Freedman wanted to renew McGivern's loan but lost out to City, who secured the young defender's services following lengthy negotiations with Manchester City yesterday.
McGivern experienced a rocky beginning to his international career, being sent off on his debut for Northern Ireland in a goalless draw against Scotland at Hampden Park in August 2008.
He has since earned a further six caps for his country and has been called up for Northern Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Serbia and Estonia.
Nigel Worthington's men take on Serbia in Belfast on Friday and then travel to the Estonian capital Tallinn for another qualifier on Tuesday.
Providing McGivern comes through without injury, he will go into City's squad to face Championship leaders Brighton & Hove Albion at Ashton Gate on Saturday, September 10.
â West Ham have moved quickly to fill the void left by Scott Parker's imminent departure by snapping up former Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop.
The 33-year-old Senegal international, a free agent after leaving AEK Athens, has signed a one-year deal at Upton Park with the option of a further 12 months.