English League 1

Bees confirm double swoop

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Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:23:00

Wigan boss Owen Coyle has revealed he never wanted to sell Ali Al Habsi when in charge of Bolton and is delighted to have the chance to work with him again.

It was Sam Allardyce that brought the Oman international to Wanderers from Lyn Oslo in January 2006.

However, he only made a handful of appearances for the club before joining the Latics on loan in the summer of 2010.

Al-Habsi impressed in his first season at the DW Stadium, helping the Lancashire club stay up on the final day of the season and collecting their Player of the Year award.

He then made a permanent £4million switch to the Latics in the summer of 2011, a move sanctioned by then Bolton boss Coyle.

The 46-year-old admits he was reluctant to let the player go, but felt it was the best move for all concerned.

"I never wanted to sell Ali, as was well-documented at the time," he told the Wigan Evening Post. "But we needed to raise revenue to try to bring in an attacking player, and we had three outstanding goalkeepers at the football club.

"I looked at it from a player's point of view, and thought that he needed to play football. Wigan came in with the loan move, he did very well, and it was only natural then that they did the deal to keep him. It was a good deal for everybody - a win, win, win situation.

"Having Ali here will be a great asset to me, because he is an outstanding man as well as an outstanding goalkeeper. It'll be nice to link up with him again and he'll be a key man for us."

McCormack arrives at Griffin Park on a free transfer from League One rivals Swindon while Saville will link up with the Bees on loan from Chelsea.

McCormack, 29, has signed a two-year contract and Brentford sporting director Mark Warburton told the club's official website: "We are delighted to see Alan join us here and he will undoubtedly have a positive impact both on and off the pitch.

"As captain of a strong Swindon Town team last season he clearly displayed excellent leadership and motivational skills and his experience will naturally benefit the development of the many young players we have in the first-team squad.

"Alan is a versatile player who will provide cover in a number of positions alongside his more recognised midfield role.

"We are looking forward to seeing him join us for the start of pre-season and to observing his performances in the season ahead."

Meanwhile, Saville has signed a loan deal until January. The 20-year-old has been a key member of the Premier League club's development squad and finished last season on loan at Millwall.

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