Monday 07 July 2014
West Bromwich Albion have made their third signing of the summer with the capture of defender Chris Baird on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old has signed a one-year deal, with the option for another 12 months, and will join his new team-mates on Monday as they begin pre-season training.
"Chris is a player with vast Premier League and international experience who reads the game well and has good positional sense," head coach Alan Irvine told www.wba.co.uk. "He can play in several positions and his versatility effectively makes your squad bigger. It's important we have the right characters in the dressing room and Chris is certainly that.
"We see Chris as an ideal addition to the squad we are building for the new season"
"We have done our homework on him. I have spoken to a lot of different people who have either managed or played with Chris and everyone spoke very, very highly of him both as a player and a person."
Baird, who can play right across the back line as well as in midfield, came through the ranks at Southampton and made his Barclays Premier League debut against Aston Villa in 2003. Later that year he played in The FA Cup final against Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium.
The Northern Ireland international moved to Fulham in 2007 and made 127 league appearances for the club while also playing an important role in the Cottagers' journey to the UEFA Europa League final in 2010.
After leaving Fulham last summer, a short-term move to Reading followed then a two-month deal with Burnley in March, helping the Clarets return to the top flight.
"We see Chris as an ideal addition to the squad we are building for the new season," West Brom technical director Terry Burton said. "The great thing about Chris is that he can provide competition and cover for so many positions, particularly at full-back, where we're still looking to strengthen both at left and right-back."
West Brom, who have also signed Craig Gardner and Joleon Lescott, open their 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign at home to Sunderland on 16 August. They begin their pre-season schedule in Austria on 20 July. To view the club's summer fixture list, click here >>