Reading snap up Mariappa for 2.5m as new boys continue to strengthen with sixth signing
15:06 GMT, 17 July 2012
Reading have completed the signing of Watford defender Adrian Mariappa on a three-year deal.
The 25-year-old has long been linked with a move away from the npower Championship outfit, with Newcastle and Wigan both thwarted in January moves for the centre-back.
Mariappa has now left Vicarage Road, though, and joined the Barclays Premier League new boys, who say they have paid 'a significant fee' for his services.
New boy in town: Adrian Mariappa has joined Reading on a three year deal
'It's a great feeling to have signed,' Mariappa said.
'The Premier League is the best in the world, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to come here, try to work my way into the team and perform for Reading Football Club.'
Mariappa becomes the Royals' sixth summer signing, following the additions of Pavel Pogrebnyak, Nicky Shorey, Danny Guthrie, Pierce Sweeney and Garath McCleary.
Reading manager Brian McDermott is pleased with his latest acquisition and backed the Jamaica international to shine at the Madejski Stadium.
'I'm delighted to get the deal to sign Aidy over the line, we have been chasing him all summer,' he said.
'He's been a very important player for Watford over a number of years, he is well known to most of our players already and also the staff here.
'Every single person I have spoken to about him has nothing but good things to say about him both as a player and as a person.'
One club man: Mariappa came through the youth ranks at Watford
The move is the first of Mariappa's career after making almost 250 appearances for Watford.
The Harrow-born defender came through the ranks at the Hornets under the tutelage of Nigel Gibbs, Chris Cummins and David Dodds, who are now all part of Reading's backroom staff.
Mariappa, who made his debut in 2005, established himself as a key player for the Hertfordshire side and was awarded the players' player and player of the season awards last term.
Confirming his departure, Watford posted on their website: “Adrian Mariappa has signed for Reading for a significant undisclosed fee.
'The deal has now been formally completed and everyone at Watford Football Club – which, for certain, includes all Hornets' supporters – wishes the home-grown defender well for his future football career.'
Reports suggest Reading are closing in on another signing in the form of Nottingham Forest right-back Chris Gunter.
The Wales international had spells with Cardiff and Tottenham before joining the Reds, who he is reportedly set to leave to link up with the Royals.