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Harte u-turn puzzles MacPherson

St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson and defender Ian Harte
Gus MacPherson says Ian Harte has not contacted him since Thursday

St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson says defender Ian Harte has not explained why he decided to pull out of a move to the Scottish Premier League club.

"I don't know why - only he knows. Last night he said he needed more time to discuss the move with his family," MacPherson told BBC Scotland.

"It was left that he'd phone me this morning with his final decision. We've yet to receive that phone call."

Harte, 31, was expected to undergo a medical on Friday ahead of his move.

The former Republic of Ireland full-back looked set to sign for the Buddies following a short spell with Championship club Blackpool.

Now, McPherson believes there is little hope of persuading the player to come to the club, despite believing he had secured the player's services 24 hours earlier.

We had agreed a deal, that is the disappointing thing

St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson

"I haven't spoken to him about his decision, but we were led to believe the deal would go through," said MacPherson.

"We've heard through third parties and the media that he deal is dead. So if Ian is saying that then it must be."

"This happens regularly in football, but for it come out in public it hasn't looked great. But we're comfortable with the way we've done business.

"We had agreed a deal, that is the disappointing thing."

Harte, capped 64 times for his country, spent nine seasons with Leeds and then the next three with Levante in Spain.

A frustrating season with Sunderland followed and, after his summer release, he had trials with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Valerenga and Charlton Athletic before joining Blackpool in December.


But, after just five games for the Seasiders, he had his contract terminated by mutual consent this week.

Speaking on Thursday, agent Willie McKay, who pointed out that other SPL clubs and Championship outfits had also expressed an interest in Harte, said the Irishman would be a great acquisition for the Buddies.

"It will be a coup for them," he said. "Celtic were prepared to pay 2m for him two years ago.

"Ian has had a great career. Money is not the objective. He wants to play football and to play for a team that wants him.

"He was just filling in at Blackpool because their other two left-backs were injured, but they are coming back now and they could not afford to keep him."

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see also
Blackpool sign Antwerp midfielder
02 Feb 09 |  Blackpool
MacPherson bemoans 'strange' rule
30 Jan 09 |  St Mirren
Harte completes Blackpool move
12 Dec 08 |  Blackpool

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