McAuley's delight at joining Town

GARETH McAuley today confirmed his delight that 'Ipswich's interest did not fade away.'

Elvin King

GARETH McAuley today confirmed his delight that 'Ipswich's interest did not fade away.'

The 28-year-old Northern Ireland international defender completed his transfer from Leicester City at lunchtime for a fee believed to be £1.1million.

Town manager Jim Magilton pursued McAuley in the January transfer window and had three bids turned down by the Foxes management.

McAuley signed an extension to his Leicester contract in February tying him to the Walkers Stadium until the summer of 2011.

But with Leicester being relegated from the Coca-Cola Championship, McAuley was keen to pursue his career both at club and international level having started Northern Ireland's last six matches.

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“Leicester put their cards on the table and there was no way I was going to leave in January,” said McAuley, who has signed a three-year deal at Portman Road.

“My hands were tied and I signed an extended contract thinking that with new players coming in Leicester would progress.

“But it did not happen and I am grateful that Ipswich kept their interest - it did not fade away.

“I want to be involved at the other end of the table next season and from what I have seen of the manager and the club I am confident that I will.”