Bristol City sign England international goalkeeper David James
By Hannah2009 | Friday, July 30, 2010, 15:40
Bristol City have agreed a deal to sign England international goalkeeper David James.
The 39-year-old passed a lunchtime medical at Ashton Gate and has agreed a one-year deal, with an option of a further year.
Although James will be at the Ashton Gate pre-season friendly with Blackpool tomorrow to be paraded on the pitch before kick-off, his contract will not come into effect until Sunday.
City have beaten off competition from Sunderland and Celtic for the former Liverpool and Aston Villa keeper, whose last played in England’s World Cup last 16 defeat to Germany in South Africa last month. His next match will be for City against Millwall in the Championship curtain-raiser at Ashton Gate tomorrow week.
A free agent since his contract with Portsmouth expired in the summer, James pulled out of talks with Celtic earlier this week and flew to Guernsey to meet with City chairman Steve Lansdown yesterday. Discussions went well and the Hertfordshire-born player met with Robins manager Steve Coppell at Ashton Gate today before putting pen to paper.
His arrival represents a major coup for the Championship club ahead of the 2010-11 season.
Exeter-based James has made no secret of his desire to remain in the West Country and he confirmed: “I’ve had offers to stay in the Premier League but it is more important that I play football – which I love – for the right club and be a family man.
“I had a long conversation with the chairman, Steve Lansdown, yesterday and I liked what he said about the club and his ambition. I know all about the plans for a new stadium and desire to win promotion to the Premier League.
“The club is ambitious and that’s what I am. The South West has not had a club in the Premier League and that needs to change.”
Lansdown said: “I’m delighted David James has agreed to sign today.
“My ambition is for this football club to play at the highest level – the Premier League – and in the best surroundings, hence the work on the training ground and new stadium.
“We need good quality players to make that happen and that’s why I’m thrilled that David has agreed to come on board.”
James, capped 53 times by his country, left Portsmouth on a free transfer during the close season.
Previously he has played at the highest level with Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United and Manchester City.
He has also won a string of honours, including the FA Cup and League Cup and holds the record for the most Premier League clean sheets..