Alex McCarthy joins Ipswich on loan – but commits long-term future to Reading

IPSWICH Town have completed the short-term loan signing of keeper Alex McCarthy on the day he committed his long-term future to Championship rivals Reading.

The former England Under-21 international – who turned 22 last month – will be with the Blues for three months, the maximum an ‘emergency’ loan can run for. It means he will be available up until the home game against Leicester on April 9, before returning to his parent club ahead of he final four games of the season.

Reading, however, can recall McCarthy automatically after the first 28 days of the loan spell should they wish. And even within the first 28 days they have provision to request a recall – but this would have to be with extenuating goalkeeping circumstances and would be at the full discretion of the Football League.

The Royals have in-form Adam Federici in goal at present with Mikkell Anderson as back-up, but they rate McCarthy highly and have just awarded him a new contract that runs until 2015.

It means that Blues boss Paul Jewell – who had David Stockdale on from Fulham earlier in the campaign – still hasn’t found the keeper who could be between the sticks at Portman Road for years to come.

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McCarthy – who conceded just four goals in six appearances on loan at Leeds earlier in the season – said of his new deal at Reading: “This is excellent for me, it’s a nice secure feeling to know that you have years behind you and I’m really looking forward to the future.

“I had a good spell in the team last season and this is a great club to be at; great lads, great staff, a great manager. I’ve got great respect for Brian (McDermott) – he’s done wonders for me.

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“Leeds are a rival club in terms of going up this season, and he didn’t have to do let me go on loan there, but he knew I wanted to go out and play and he had my best interests at heart. So I have to thank him for letting me do that.

“Everyone always comments about the goalkeepers here because we’ve got such a great group. All of us want to be playing of course, and being a goalkeeper that’s not possible – and that’s why I’ve taken more time out to go on loan. But eventually I do want to be playing my football here.”

Reading’s Director of Football Nick Hammond said: “I am delighted, Alex is a very highly-regarded young goalkeeper both at our club and in the wider football world, so this is a very important signing for us. It is great news that he has committed himself for another three-and-a-half years.

“He has shown enormous progression over the last 12 months, and his loan to Ipswich will allow him to gain even more experience at Championship level.

“With Adam Federici in outstanding form and our two young goalkeepers committing themselves to the club in the last week, we have an outstanding group of goalkeepers, and huge credit should go to goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo for his fantastic work with them over the last number of years.”

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