New City deal for Ireland

20 September 2007 09:27
Republic of Ireland international Stephen Ireland has committed his long-term future to Manchester City by signing a five-year contract with Sven-Goran Eriksson's side. The 21-year-old midfielder, who has made 62 first-team appearances for City, is now contracted to the club until June 2012. He told City's official website: "I'm delighted to commit my future to Manchester City. "The last week has been extremely difficult for my family and I but it's a terrific boost to sign a long-term deal, which I hope shows my commitment to the club and the fans as well as the club's commitment to me. "I'm very settled at the club and the support I've received from my partner, family and everybody around me has been fantastic. "The events surrounding my withdrawal from the Ireland squad last week have been well-publicised and are not something I want to dwell on. "However, I want to reiterate my regret over what happened. "I received some very upsetting news when I was told by my partner that she'd suffered a mis-carriage and unfortunately became swept up in an unforeseen series of events on an issue that was deeply personal to us. "At no time did I realise that an issue which should have been private and confidential between my partner and I would receive so much media attention - but now it's time for me to move on. "I'd like to thank everybody who has sent me messages of support over the last few days, including fans of City and Ireland. The understanding shown to me by Sven-Goran Eriksson, the City players and backroom staff has been fantastic." Ireland became embroiled in controversy earlier this month when he pulled out of the Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro 2008 qualifier with the Czech Republic citing the death of a grandparent. It later transpired that his relative was still alive and he has since revealed that his girlfriend had suffered a miscarriage.

Source: ESA