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Zoltan Gera transfer to Fulham official

last updated Wednesday 11th June 2008, 3:01 PM
Zoltan Gera
Zoltan Gera
Fulham have finally completed the free signing of midfielder Zoltan Gera from West Brom after the Hungarian passed a medical today.

Albion manager Tony Mowbray admitted two days ago that Gera, 29, had turned down a new contract at The Hawthorns and was leaving the newly-promoted Baggies to join Fulham, who dramatically avoided relegation from the Barclays Premier League on the last day of the season.

Gera, who scored 25 goals in 155 games for the midlanders, including 10 strikes last term in their latest promotion campaign, cost them £1.5 million when signed from Hungary's Ferencvaros in July 2004.

He has won 53 caps for his country and has often captained them.

Gera recovered from a hernia operation which kept him out for a long spell in 2005 to emerge as one of the Baggies' most outstanding recent performers and Fulham have jumped in front of at least two other Premier League contenders for his signature.

He is Fulham manager Roy Hodgson's third signing of the season - after goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer on a free from Middlesbrough, and David Stockdale, who joined for a small fee from League Two Darlington.

But that is likely to be only the start of a new spree by Hodgson who has promised a string of new faces before the start of a season in which he intends to establish Fulham as a mid-table side after two years fighting the drop.

Hodgson brought in six new signings during the January transfer window and has pledged to keep much-coveted midfielder Jimmy Bullard at the club.

He has released 10 players including former captain Brian McBride, fellow American defender Carlos Bocanegra, goalkeeper Tony Warner and midfielder Simon Elliott.

Another American, veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller, has not been offered an extension to his expired one-year contract and is likely to retire.

Fulham stated:
Fulham Football Club has today finalised the free transfer signing of Zoltan Gera from West Bromwich Albion. The three-year deal will see the player at the Club until the summer of 2011, with an option of a further year.

The 29-year-old versatile Hungarian international joined West Bromwich Albion from Ferencvaros in July 2004 and scored 25 goals during his time at the Hawthorns.

He helped Ferencvaros to the Hungarian league and cup double before moving to England and was made captain of his national side by former Hungarian coach, Lothar Matthaus in 2004 and led his team to a 3-1 victory against Latvia.

Gera made his international debut against Switzerland in February 2002 and currently has 53 caps and 16 goals for Hungary.

Speaking at Fulham’s training ground this morning Zoltan Gera said:
‘I am extremely happy to have completed my transfer to Fulham this morning and I’m looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the squad for pre-season in three weeks' time. Having spoken to Roy Hodgson, I am impressed with the Club’s aims for the forthcoming Premier League campaign and I’m confident that I will be able to play a worthy part in what will be a new challenge for me.’

Manager Roy Hodgson added:
‘Zoltan Gera becomes our third signing this summer and adds to the quality already in the squad. He is a versatile player whose skill and athleticism contribute to him being an excellent all-round attacking midfielder who can also play as a striker, which he has proven successfully at club and international level. Zoltan had a lot of options in terms of his future and we are delighted that he chose to come to join us at Fulham.’

Source Sportsmail Reporter
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