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Berra completes Wolves transfer

Hearts captain Christophe Berra
Berra was recommended to Wolves by Celtic legend Billy McNeill

Wolves have completed the signing of Hearts captain Christophe Berra for a fee believed to be about 2.5m.

The 24-year-old Scotland defender, who has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract, made 137 appearances for Hearts, scoring five goals.

"It was an honour and a privilege to captain Hearts. I'll be leaving a lot of friends behind," Berra told the Hearts website.

"I'd like to wish the club, players, coaching staff and fans all the best."

Berra, who has three Scotland caps, made his first-team debut for the Edinburgh outfit at the age of 18 after coming through the club's youth ranks.

"The fans have given the team great backing over the past few seasons," added Berra.

"Hopefully they have plenty to cheer about during the remainder of the season, and make it into Europe."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy had been critical of the way Hearts publicised his interest in Berra but after their offer was accepted he said he was delighted.

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"He's an ambitious lad and he will be driven to get to the Premier League.

"He's 6ft 3in, left-footed with a bit of pace and a good defender who reads the ball well and is good in the air."

McCarthy also revealed that he had been tipped off about the Scotland international by Celtic legend Billy McNeill.

"He got a glowing recommendation from Billy McNeill, who has been my manager twice and is a great pal of mine," the former Republic of Ireland boss added.

"They don't get much better recommendations than from a great centre-half like that, although he did sign me once!"

Last week, the English Championship leaders were unhappy that Hearts did not respond to their bid directly but replied instead through the media.

"It's an attempt to alert everybody out there what we've done. I think it's unethical," the Molineux boss had told BBC WM.

"We have made a bid. I won't confirm or deny what the bid was, but it was put out on Sky News that we had had a bid turned down.

"Why is that? Why not pick the phone up and say 'no, we are not accepting that'?

"I just don't think it's right. We have bid and that offer remains."

Prior to making the move to Molineux, Berra had been linked with possible moves to Fulham and Sunderland recently.

Wolves had a 1.5m bid rejected for the central defender in June and were told to increase a 2m offer last week.

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see also
Hearts boss keen to replace Berra
31 Jan 09 |  Scottish Premier
Hearts reject Wolves' Berra bid
27 Jan 09 |  Hearts


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