English League 2

Brewers swoop for Delap

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Thu, 18 Jul 2013 11:45:00

Crystal Palace have signed Spain U20 midfielder Jose Campana on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Campana has been with Sevilla since the age of seven, progressing to their senior side in 2011.

He played only five times in La Liga last season, ending the season on the injured list after suffering a fracture in his foot.

But Campana was fit in time to play for Spain's U20 side at the World Cup in Turkey, where his performances were enough to make him a coveted player for a number of clubs across Europe.

Campana told Palace's official website: "I'm delighted to become a Crystal Palace player. Over the last two years, I've had some problems with my hometown club, but I'm really excited to play in the Premier League.

"I think it's a good step for me and I'm really excited and looking forward to meet all the boys and start as quickly as possible.

"I got the first interest through my agent, who said that Crystal Palace were interested and straight away I said 'yes' because for me it was a dream to play in England, especially in the Premier League. I hope to help the team stay in the league and then move forward.

"What I like to think are my best qualities are to keep the ball and to have good distribution. I have always been a typical Spanish midfielder and I like to move forward and score goals.

"I scored a lot of goals when I was in the academy at Sevilla. That's what I want, but especially to keep the ball and to organise the team."

The 35-year-old former Leicester man was a crucial cog in the Grecians' midfield last season in his second spell with the club.

And having returned to pre-season training with Paul Tisdale's men despite being out of contract, and featuring in the draw with QPR last week, Oakley put pen to paper on a new deal.

"I'm very respectful of the fact that he's waited for us to get in a position where we can (offer him a contract)," Tisdale told the club's official website.

"It says a lot about him. He's going to be a fundamental part of the development of our younger players, and of course he has a large part to play on the pitch too.

"He brings seniority and understanding of the game as we prefer to play it.

It keeps continuity and a rationale through our philosophy, and he matches it - he wouldn't fit every club and not every player suits us, but Matt suits our club."

Arsene Wenger reportedly had a bid of £30million plus adds-on rejected by the Liverpool board and Rodgers is determined to hold onto one of his prize assets.

Skipper Steven Gerrard signed a two-year contract extension on Monday and Rodgers inists Suarez will once again be lining up alongside him next season, "unless something drastic happens."

"He is a wonderful player and he is still very much a Liverpool player. No matter who the player is, nobody is bigger than Liverpool Football Club," said Rodgers.

"'Luis is a very important member of this squad and I am looking forward to working with him again this season.

"There has been lots of speculation about Luis moving to another club but, as I said, he is very much a Liverpool player.

"We had an offer that was nowhere near what we value him at. Of course he wants to work and play at the top level.

"But unless something drastic happens, he will be staying here. He has got three years left on his contract."

Liverpool play an Indonesian All-Star XI on Saturday, although Suarez, along with defender Sebastian Coates and goalkeeper Pepe Reina, will not be involved as they enjoy an extended break following their involvement in the Confederations Cup.

The 37-year-old, who was released by Stoke at the end of last season, has been on trial at the Pirelli Stadium, but has done enough to earn a one-year deal.

"The manager invited me down to the club for pre-season and having been involved for just over a week I'm delighted to sign permanently," he said.

"From what I've seen in a short space of time the club is well run and geared for playing in a higher league and I know that's something the players all buy into as well. I'm looking forward to getting started."

Delap becomes the ninth summer signing for boss Gary Rowett, who was attracted by Delap's experience.

"Rory is someone I know well and I am delighted to have him on board ahead of the new campaign; his signing is certainly a fantastic coup for the club," Rowett said.

"He's shown a great appetite during pre-season in terms of training and during the matches he has been involved in. The quality and experience he will bring to the squad moving forward is obvious to see."

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