SHEFFIELD Wednesday have landed Crystal Palace centre half Anthony Gardner.
The former England defender has ended a transfer saga by agreeing to sign a two-year contract.
The deal seemed in serious doubt only 24 hours earlier with Wednesday believed to be ready to pull out if the formalities could not be completed quickly.
Gardener had passed a medical more than a fortnight ago.
But the Owls’ patience has paid off, and Gardner will join them officially after his Palace contract expires on June 30.
He said: “This is a great move for me. I am really impressed with the ambition of the manager and the chairman and as everyone knows, Sheffield Wednesday has a huge fan base.
“The club has the ambition and the drive to succeed and that is what has attracted me to Hillsborough.
“I have played a lot of my career in the Premiership and that is where I want to return to. I have no intention of coming to a club that is just out to consolidate in the Championship, I want to succeed and that is why I have come to Sheffield Wednesday.”
Owls boss Dave Jones said: “I am really pleased to bring a player of Anthony’s calibre to the club.
“It has taken a little longer than anticipated because of circumstances – he was away while I was away and vice versa but I kept in contact with him throughout that time.
“He gave me his word and he stuck to it. Anthony is a quality player and a leader, with Championship and Premiership pedigree. He will help take Sheffield Wednesday forward.”
Gardner began his career with Port Vale in 1998 and was sold for £1m to Spurs.
He played for England against Sweden in Gothenburg in 2004.
The 31-year-old smashed Hull’s transfer record with a £2.5m switch to Humberside in 2008. and moved to Palace two years ago.
He has made 286 senior appearances during his career.