Dunne deal for City skipper
Long-serving defender commits to four-year contract
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: July 4, 2008 4:52pm
Dunne: Confirmed City stay
Manchester City captain Richard Dunne has pledged his future to the club by signing a new four-year deal.
The 28-year-old defender, who has been City's player of the year for the past four seasons, was considering his future with only a year left on his existing contract.
That alerted the attention of Premier League rivals Portsmouth, Newcastle and Tottenham but new City manager Mark Hughes has convinced Dunne to sign a new deal until 2012.
The Republic of Ireland international, who is City's longest-serving player having joined from Everton in 2000, admitted Hughes has played a big role in his decision to stay at the club after the Welshman succeeded Sven Goran Eriksson last month.
"I'm delighted to be able to stay," Dunne told the club's official website.
"My first priority is, was and always has been to stay at City because I've enjoyed it so much and I feel really settled here.
"When Mark Hughes got the job I think everyone was really pleased and I was thrilled that he seemed to make it a priority to sort my contract out.
"As soon as he did (take over) we started to talk," he added. "It was literally a couple of days and it was all done and dusted.
"I'm pleased now that it's all been signed and sealed, and I can relax a bit more now and concentrate on the season ahead."
Hughes confirmed that securing Dunne's services on a long-term deal has been just as important as pursuing his summer transfer targets.
"I'm delighted with the outcome, Richard is a really important player for us," he said.
"It was one of my priorities when I took the job that I made sure that he was one of the players we needed to keep."