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McClean signs up for three years at Cats

JAMES McClean's meteroic rise to prominence for Sunderland has been rewarded with a new and improved contract by Martin O'Neill.

The Republic of Ireland's newest sensation has risen from nowhere at the Stadium of Light to become a real contender for a place in Giovanni Trapattoni's final Euro 2012 squad, based on his explosive Premier League form.

Bought for a reported €200,000 from Derry last August, McClean signed a three-year deal but has now been given a further year which will take him to 2015 and with improved terms.

In the next six months, he could bank the equivalent of the money Sunderland paid for him.

The 22 year-old's introduction to Premier League football has been impressive and although his form has dipped in the last few games, Trapattoni has admitted that he still has a chance of making it to Poland/Ukraine in June.

McClean said: "I'm thrilled to be here. I'm really enjoying my football and to have earned a new contract is a dream. I'm over the moon to see my next three years with Sunderland."