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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Cardiff recruit Chopra & McPhail
Michael Chopra
Striker Michael Chopra was sought by several clubs
Newcastle striker Michael Chopra and Barnsley midfielder Stephen McPhail have secured three-year Cardiff deals.

Both were out of contract at the end of the month, and the Bluebirds had to fight off interest from other clubs.

Republic of Ireland international and ex-Leeds man McPhail, 26, will officially complete his move on 1 July.

The club say Chopra, 22, has passed a medical and signed and that a 500,000 fee has been agreed, but that one small detail has to be sorted with Newcastle.

The Bluebirds see Chopra as a replacement for Cameron Jerome, their top scorer who was sold to Birmingham for 3m last month.

We've had to fight off seven other clubs to sign Chopra

Cardiff owner Sam Hammam

Newcastle would have liked the youngster to have stayed, while there was also interest from Birmingham, Crystal Palace and Barnsley.

The ex-England youth international has been with his hometown club since 2002.

He had loan spells with Watford, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley, and has Premiership and Champions League experience with the Magpies.

Although Chopra would have been a free agent come July, because he is under 24 years old Newcastle are entitled to recompense for developing the player.

"We've had to fight off seven other clubs to sign Chopra," said Cardiff owner Sam Hammam.

Stephen McPhail
McPhail has won 10 caps for the Republic of Ireland

"Newcastle wanted him to stay and offered a new contract, but even they had to concede he wanted to play for Cardiff City.

"Stephen McPhail has skill on the ball and he'll certainly have a serious impact for us next season."

Cardiff manager Dave Jones is believed to have been given 2m from the Jerome sale to strengthen for next season.

But some of that money has already been spent on the permanent switch of Dutch defender Glenn Loovens from Feyenoord.

Other money has been earmarked to secure midfield fulcrum Jason Koumas from West Bromwich Albion.

SEE ALSO
BBC Wales Sport coverage
01 May 06 |  Wales


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