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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 January, 2005, 10:36 GMT
Magpies complete Boumsong signing
Jean-Alain Boumsong
Boumsong joined Rangers on a free transfer in the summer
Newcastle have completed the signing of Rangers defender Jean-Alain Boumsong for a fee of around 8m.

The 25-year-old French international has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal and is set to make his debut against Yeading in the FA Cup next weekend.

"It is a joy to play for another big club and that's why I've signed a long deal," he told the Magpies' website.

"I played against Alan Shearer in a pre-season tournament and am proud I will now be playing alongside him."

Boumsong joined Rangers from Auxerre on a free transfer last summer and made just 28 appearances for them before moving to England.

"I would like to apologise to the public at Ibrox for leaving them so soon and I hope they won't be angry with me," he added.

"Newcastle are going to play there next summer and I am hoping there will not be too much anger directed at me."

I'm proud I will now be playing alongside Alan Shearer
Jean-Alain Boumsong

Magpies boss Graeme Souness is thrilled to have finally captured the defender after two previous unsuccessful bids for him.

"We feel he will be a big influence at the club, short-term and long-term. He has a great desire to be the best," he said.

"He is a communicator on the pitch and you can never have enough of them.

"That is something we have been lacking. We do not have enough people who are talkers, and he will certainly help us in that department. I think the supporters will enjoy watching him play."

Boumsong is Souness' second signing as he strives to improve Newcastle's defence - Chelsea full-back Celestine Babayaro has also joined.

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