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Wigan secure Sammon deal as Reid heads for Blackpool

ANDY REID and Stephen Ireland secured a change of scenery and conor sammon made a dream switch to the Premier League, but there was disappointment for Shay Given as a hectic transfer window for Irish players drew to a close.

Reid and Ireland will this morning start life with Blackpool and Newcastle respectively, the clubs where the enigmatic midfielders will spend the remainder of the season.

Sunderland have parted company with Reid for an undisclosed fee -- the 28-year-old has initially signed a deal to keep him at Blackpool until the end of this campaign. If he impresses then a two-year deal is on the cards. His new boss, Ian Holloway, described the Dubliner as 'dinky doo' player.

Reid struggled to make an impression under Steve Bruce at Sunderland and spent the early part of this season on loan at Sheffield United.

Ireland had also attracted interest from Bolton and Celtic, but plumped for Newcastle. His summer move to Aston Villa has proved to be a disaster and with his £60,000-a-week pay packet, he was only ever going to make a loan switch in this window.

He needs a fresh start, with a serious question mark hanging over his future after a turbulent 18 months. "I think Stephen feels he can deliver more than he's shown at Villa so far," said Alan Pardew.

Sammon, however, could come into Ireland reckoning after last night becoming a Premier League player, signing a three-and-a- half-year deal with Wigan.

The ex-UCD and Derry striker had an unremarkable first couple of years in Scotland with Kilmarnock before hitting a prolific run of form this term to storm to the top of the SPL scoring charts.

He rejected a move to Scunthorpe before Derby had a £425,000 bid turned down. Wigan made a late intervention to land the 24-year-old for an initial fee believed to be around £600,000.

"Conor is a young, hungry player we've been looking at for a while," said Wigan boss Roberto Martinez. "He has developed in an incredible manner over the past six months."

Sammon joined too late to figure in tonight's game with West Brom.

It's been a mixed couple of days for Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni. The good news was Robbie Keane's move to West Ham, but Given remains stuck at Manchester City. He was strongly linked with a loan move to Leicester and there was late speculation that he could join Cardiff on similar terms, but the door is not yet closed on either scenario -- Championship clubs can still bring in players on an emergency loan.

Glenn Whelan was another who was tipped to move in the transfer window, but nothing suitable materialised for the Stoke man.

Preston also rejected a bid -- believed to be from Ipswich -- for central defender Sean St Ledger, who has endured a difficult year with the relegation strugglers.

Keiren Westwood stayed put at Coventry, and will instead move in the summer. But Andy Keogh did move out on loan for the second time this season, with the Wolves man bound for Bristol City after a spell at Cardiff proved frustrating.

Irish Independent