New Royals deal for Hunt

Midfielder to stay at Madejski until 2011

By Rob Parrish.   Last Updated: 01/02/08 6:34pm

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Hunt: New deal

Hunt: New deal

Sky Bet

Stephen Hunt has signed a new contract with Reading that ties him to the Premier League club until 2011.

The Republic of Ireland international was a target for Sunderland in the January transfer window but has now put pen to paper an improved three-and-a-half-year deal with Steve Coppell's side.

Black Cats boss Roy Keane was keen to take Hunt to the Stadium of Light but saw two bids rejected by the Royals.

Matured

Director of football Nick Hammond told the club's official website: "Considering all the speculation surrounding 'Hunty' in recent weeks his professionalism and commitment have been outstanding, and he personifies the qualities that our team will need for the remainder of this season and beyond.

"He has greatly matured as a player and a person since joining us, and is now an established Premier League and international footballer so we are delighted with this news."

Hunt added: "I am very pleased to sign this new deal and show my commitment to Reading.

"I believe the club can keep going forward in the next few years and I want to play my part in that process."

Hunt moved to the Madejski Stadium after being released by Brentford in June 2005.

He has become one of the key players in Coppell's team and has played in every Premier League game so far this season, scoring six times in all competitions.

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