LEEDS UNITED have completed their 11th signing of the summer, with Bournemouth’s Republic Of Ireland international midfielder Eunan O’Kane joining the Whites on a two-year-deal.
The Whites were linked with a move for the 26-year-old earlier this summer but the Cherries and Whites were some distance away from agreeing a fee.
United were then linked with a loan move for the midfielder on the morning of transfer deadline day and that move looked to have stalled several hours later.
But United returned with a new bid for the 5ft 6ins midfielder as the clock ticked down towards the close of FIFA’s summer transfer window at 11pm this evening.
O’Kane was signed by Bournemouth from Torquay United in July 2012 and has since made 115 appearances for the Cherries.
But the Republic of Ireland international has not played for Eddie Howe’s side since April and was pushed further down the pecking order when the south-coast side signed Jack Wilshere on loan from Arsenal.
O’Kane was born in Derry and represented Northern Ireland at under-16s, under-17s, under-19s, under-20s and under-21s level.
But the midfielder switched allegiances to the Republic in 2008 and, after picking up five caps for the under-21s, he graduated to the full international side.
O’Kane narrowly missed out on a place in Martin O’Neill’s squad for Euro 2016 but is part of the Ireland squad that takes on Oman tonight in a friendly at Lansdowne Road.
O’Kane is in line to win his fifth cap for his country.
The midfielder shared the same club as United coach James Beattie when the duo were both at Everton in 2007 where O’Kane spent two years of his youth career.
From there he joined Coleraine where he spent two years before joining Torquay.
O’Kane becomes United’s 11th signing of the summer into the regular first-team squad, following in Marcus Antonsson, Robert Green, Kemar Roofe, Luke Ayling and Liam Bridcutt, plus Kyle Bartley, Hadi Sacko, Matt Grimes, Pablo Hernandez and Pontus Jannson on loan.
Ten senior players have also left the club, headed by midfielder Lewis Cook, who was sold to Bournemouth for £8m.
Mirco Antenucci, Scott Wootton, Casper Sloth, Tomasso Bianchi and Eric Grimes have also all left permanently, while Giuseppe Bellusci, Lee Erwin, Jordan Botaka and Alex Purver have all left on loan.
Have you downloaded the free YEP app available on Android and iphone?