DELAP A £4 MILLION SAINT - EYENE FOLLOWS SUIT

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SOUTHAMPTON have finalised the signing of Derby County star Rory Delap in a club-record £4 million deal.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder has put pen-to-paper on a four-year contract and becomes Stuart Gray's first signing for the club.

Delap was delighted with the transfer to the South coast club, enthusing: "This is a great opportunity to join a growing club.

"I am looking forward to working with Stuart Gray and Mick Wadsworth who look to be a young, bright and energetic management team."

The 25-year-old midfielder joined The Rams for a bargain £500,000 in 1998 from Division Three outfit Carlisle United and became a crucial member of Jim Smith's team with his adaptability, playing up-front, in midfield and right back.    

The Cumbrians will receive a welcome £700,000 from the move as part of a sell-on clause.

Meanwhile, Gray has not procrastinated in making his second summer signing with Espanyol starlet Jacinta Ela Eyene now on his way to The Saints.

The 19-year-old midfielder-cum-striker is available on a Bosman free transfer from the Spanish side and Southampton are delighted to have snapped up the highly-rated youngster.

"We received international clearance from the Spanish federation on Tuesday and he is now officially our player.

"We are delighted to have signed him and expect him to play an integral part in the new season," a club spokesman told Southampton's official website.