West Brom confirm signing of Gareth McAuley

West Brom have confirmed the signing of central defender Gareth McAuley on a free transfer from Ipswich.

The 31-year-old Northern Ireland international has put pen to paper on a three-year contract which will keep him at The Hawthorns until summer 2014.

McAuley made nearly 100 appearances in three years with the Tractor Boys and has won 28 caps for his country.

Albion head coach Roy Hodgson will be hoping his first signing of the summer will help up to shore up his leaky defence.

The Baggies conceded 71 goals in their 38 Barclays Premier League matches - an average of just under two goals per game.

McAuley will be tasting life in the top flight for the first time, having previously played for Lincoln and Leicester.

Hodgson said: "We believe the time is right for him to embark on a career in the Premier League after doing so well in the Championship and for his country.

"We are very happy, in the face of lots of competition, to have acquired his services and persuaded him to join us.

"He is the Northern Ireland captain who knows British football and he will be a very valuable addition to our squad next year."

McAuley is currently preparing for his country's Carling Nations Cup matches against the Republic of Ireland and Wales.

He opted to leave Leicester for Ipswich after their relegation to League One in 2008.

In total he has made 295 career appearances, scoring 25 goals.

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