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HARRY Redknapp has strengthened his defensive options with the signing of experienced centre-half Richard Dunne.

The Republic of Ireland international has penned an initial one-year deal at Loftus Road following his release from Aston Villa at the end of last season.

Thirty-three year-old Dunne becomes Rangers’ second signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of fellow defender Danny Simpson.

Redknapp believes the former Manchester City skipper will be a valuable addition to his squad, telling www.qpr.co.uk: “This is a great signing for us. He’s a top-class defender and a great guy. He’s a good character and just what we need. 

“He was City’s Player of the Year four years running, and he will be fantastic at this football club. He’s exactly the type I’m looking for.

“Obviously he had his problems last season with the injury but there’s an agreement in place that if he breaks down, the contract can be ended. He’s confident he’ll be okay and from our point of view, if he doesn’t have any problems with it then we’ve just signed a very, very good centre-half.”

Dunne, who has 77 Eire caps to his name, will link up with his new team-mates for the first time when the R’s squad travel to Austria for a pre-season tour on Tuesday lunchtime.

He said: “I’ve been very close to signing for Harry on a couple of occasions and the opportunity to work with him really appealed to me. Players want to play for Harry and I’m no different.

“I know the club didn’t have a good season last term, but – having spoken to Harry, as well as Tony (Fernandes) – there’s a real determination to bounce back into the Premier League, which is where we all want to be.

“I’ve played in the Championship and won it with Manchester City, so hopefully my experience will benefit the team over the course of the season.

“It’s a good challenge for me and one I’m very excited about.”