Sport

Mariappa signs with Reading

Austin nears deal with Championship side Leeds

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer staff reporter ?walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 19, 2012    

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Jamaican international Adrian 'Aidy' Mariappa was snapped up by English Premier League new boys Reading for a reported £2.5 million (J$347 million), while Rudolph Austin is on the verge of joining Leeds United.

Mariappa, 25, a central defender who made his debut for Jamaica against Guyana in May 2012, signed a three-year deal from Championship outfit Watford FC where he has been since 2005.

In January, Mariappa came close to signing for both Newcastle and Wigan before the moves fell through but now he is finally getting to play at the highest level in England.

"It's a great feeling to have signed. The Premier League is the best in the world, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to come here, try to work my way into the team and perform for Reading Football Club," Mariappa was quoted on BBC Sports website.

Mariappa becomes Reading's sixth summer signing, following the additions of Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak from Fulham, Nicky Shorey, Danny Guthrie, Pierce Sweeney and Garath McCleary.

Reading manager Brian McDermott is pleased with his latest acquisition and backed the Jamaican international to shine at the Madejski Stadium.

"I'm delighted to get the deal to sign Aidy over the line, we have been chasing him all summer," he said.

"He's been a very important player for Watford over a number of years, he is well known to most of our players already and also the staff here.

"Every single person I have spoken to about him has nothing but good things to say about him both as a player and as a person," said McDermott.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's 28-year-old midfielder Austin is close to signing with Championship side Leeds United from Norwegian outfit SK Brann.

SkySports reported that Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has confirmed he is hoping to finalise the signing of Austin by the early part of next week.

Warnock has been a long-term admirer of the midfielder and took Austin on trial during his time in charge of Queens Park Rangers.

Discussions are ongoing regarding a deal and Warnock outlined the qualities he expects Austin to add to his Leeds squad, if a transfer can be completed.

"I like him. I had him at QPR and would have loved to have signed him then. I've kept tabs on him since," Warnock was quoted as saying on SkySports. "He's very flexible. He's just as good at full-back or centre-back, and gives us a presence in midfield."

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