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Relieved Keane finally lands his men

PUBLISHED: 11:13 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:50 06 July 2010

FOLLOWING five days of protracted negotiations, Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane was left relieved to have finally landed his men yesterday.

Two of the players who, under his guidance, were instrumental in helping Sunderland gain promoted to the Premier League in 2006/7 will now be trying to help the Irishman repeat the feat in Suffolk.

FOLLOWING five days of protracted negotiations, Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane was left relieved to have finally landed his men yesterday.

Two of the players who, under his guidance, were instrumental in helping Sunderland gain promoted to the Premier League in 2006/7 will now be trying to help the Irishman repeat the feat in Suffolk.

Central midfielder Grant Leadbitter, 23, could cost the club up to £2.6m and has signed a three-year contract, while 30-year-old right-winger Carlos Edwards, whose part of the deal could rise to £1.35m, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

Leadbitter will undertake his first training session with his new team-mates this morning, but Edwards is currently away on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago and will not return to Ipswich until Friday, September 11 - just a day before Town's trip to Middlesbrough.

The pair had initially looked set to follow in the footsteps of their former Sunderland team-mates Dean Whitehead and Daryl Murphy and reject moves to Ipswich after the two clubs had agreed fees last week.

However, Keane was able to sell them his vision for the club and, just as importantly, chief executive Simon Clegg was able to offer personal terms which they felt were acceptable as they dropped down to the Championship.

Edwards and Leadbitter made an impressive total of 50 Premier League appearances between them last season in a team which finished 16th in the table.

But they have both found themselves down the pecking order at the Stadium of Light this season after manager Steve Bruce's summer spending spree.

Both players featured in Sunderland's Carling Cup win over Norwich last week, while Leadbitter replaced an injured Lee Cattermole during the Black Cats' home defeat at Chelsea earlier this season.

Otherwise, Leadbitter has found himself behind new signings Cattermole and Lorik Cana in the bid to earn central midfield placings while Steed Malbranque has been preferred to Edwards down the right.

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