QPR sign Dunne on a free
Championship promotion favorites Queens Park Rangers bolstered their squad with the signing of former Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne on a free transfer on Monday. Dunne was released by Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert at the end of last season and the Republic of Ireland international has agreed to drop down a division after signing a one-year contract with QPR. The 33-year-old centerback is Harry Redknapp’s second summer signing following the capture of Newcastle United rightback Danny Simpson. Dunne, who has also played for Everton and Manchester City, will compete with Clint Hill, Anton Ferdinand and Nedum Onuoha for a starting place as Redknapp looks to steer the club back to the Premier League at the first attempt following last season’s relegation. “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,” Dunne said. Dunne struggled with injuries during his final two years at Villa and Redknapp admitted there is a clause in the defender’s deal that means his contract can be canceled if he does not stay fit. “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,” Redknapp said.
Hull sign ’keeper Harper
Premier League new boys Hull City signed former Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper on a free transfer on Monday. Harper agreed a one-year contract with Steve Bruce’s team following his release by Newcastle at the end of last season. A statement on Hull’s official Twitter feed read: “We are delighted to announce the signing of Steve Harper on a one-year deal. Welcome to Hull.” The 38-year-old, who spent 20 years at St James’ Park, joins the Tigers for their first top-flight campaign since 2010 after their promotion as Championship runners-up last season. He played in Newcastle’s FA Cup final defeat to Manchester United in 1999 and made his last appearance for the club in a 1-0 Premier League defeat to Arsenal in May.
Campana to join Palace
Sevilla have agreed to sell their Spain under-20 midfielder Jose Campana to Premier League side Crystal Palace, the La Liga club’s president said on Monday. “We agreed that his agent could put him on the market, and an agreement was reached with Crystal Palace worth 2 million euros [US$2.6 million] plus bonuses and a percentage of any future transfer fee,” Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido told reporters. “The logical thing would be for him to sign today and tomorrow travel to the UK for a medical.” A product of Sevilla’s academy, the 20-year-old was a key figure in Spain’s run to the quarter-finals of this month’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Rafinha loaned to Celta
Barcelona reached an agreement on Monday to send midfielder Rafinha to RC Celta de Vigo for one season. The 20-year-old Brazilian has come through Barcelona’s youth ranks since he was 13. Rafinha holds dual nationality and has played for Spain at the under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels, but last year he switched to Brazil and played in their under-20 team at the South American Youth Championship in Argentina. Rafinha’s elder brother, midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who also came up through Barcelona’s youth ranks, moved to Bayern Munich on Sunday.