ST MIRREN fans are in shock today after breaking news that former Leeds star Ian Harte has pulled out of a deal with the club.
The left-back was expected to undergo a medical this afternoon at St Mirren Park, but it appears that the deal is off.
It was reported that the former Republic of Ireland star – a one-time £2million signing target for Celtic – agreed to join Saints yesterday.
The 31-year-old left-back was released from his short-term contract by Blackpool last week, making him a free agent and meaning the Buddies could pick him up for nothing – even though the January transfer window has now closed.
However, fans will be left disappointed with Harte's shock U-turn.
Speaking yesterday, Gus praised the player's record: “Ian is a guy who has played at the very highest level in the game and has 64 international caps to his name.
“These players don’t come along too often, so we moved quickly to make our intentions known and conclude a deal."
Harte was part of the Leeds United team under David O’Leary that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001, only to crash out of the tournament 3-0 on aggregate to Spanish aces Valencia.
Harte had previously spent time with Premiership side Sunderland but was released from the Stadium of Light in May last year.
He also had stints with Wolves, Sheffield United and Charlton but saw a permanent move to the latter club fall apart when Alan Pardew left as manager.
Harte joined Blackpool in December but was released last week in a cost-cutting move.
The Irishman also spent three years in Spain with Levante, where he scored 10 goals in more than 60 appearances.
For more analysis, read the Paisley Daily Express tomorrow.