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LUFC Former defender turns down return opportunity

LUFC Former defender turns down return opportunity

Former Leeds United defender Ian Harte has revealed that he turned down an approach from his former club earlier this month.

Harte has just helped Reading win the championship title and he was out of contract this summer.

The 34 year old has now put pen to paper on a new deal at the Madejski Stadium as they prepare for life back in the Premier League.

Speaking in the Crowthorne and Sandhurst Times , Harte said, "I got a phone call about 10 days ago saying they were interested.

"I love it down here and these have been the best two years of my career. It would be silly to leave such a fantastic club like Reading. I`m definitely happy where I am.

"I don`t say you can never go back as I`m sure that would be fine. But people would say back in those days that we had a fantastic team, playing Champions League football and it would have been difficult."

Harte made 288 appearances for Leeds in a nine year spell after coming through the clubs academy system and he was a leading figure in the Leeds side that reached the champions League semi-final in 2001.

The former Republic of Ireland international left Leeds following their relegation from the Premier League in 2004 and he joined Spanish side Levante.

He was a regular in their season in the Spanish top flight but then spent two seasons in the wilderness before returning to England.

After short spells at Sunderland, Blackpool and Carlisle, he joined Reading in August 2010.

Harte has made 81 appearances for the royals since his arrival and after just failing to help them to the Premier League last season, when they were defeated in the play-off final, this season, and the side lost just one game in eighteen in the second half of the season to go up as champions.

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Date:Friday May 25 2012
Time: 2:10PM

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