Haapala signs on
Finnish midfielder Tuomas Haapala has taken up City's contract offer and is set to begin full training with the squad straight away.
The 26-year-old spent two weeks with the squad in November following the end of his season with MyPa. He impressed Stuart Pearce and his coaching staff enough to be offered a six-month deal, and having accepted it he has returned to Manchester to join in at Carrington on a more permanent basis.
"He's accepted that offer so he will be with us this week," Pearce confirmed on Monday morning. "He impressed us in training, he's got a lot of hard work to do to break into the side but has been offered a contract until the end of the season.
"In that time he does have the opportunity to impress within a small squad. If he takes that opportunity by the scruff of the neck and does well then we can get back and tell him that we want him to stay with us."
A holding midfield player, Haapala's deal is the same length as the one offered to Yasser Hussein last summer. The Manager feels that Club are in the position to see how the Finn develops in the same way they did with Hussein, who despite not being offered an extension has been backed by Pearce to move his career forward in the UK.
"He has a lot of hard work to do, but it is like with Yasser - Yasser had an opportunity to be with us, he did extremely well but wasn't good enough to break through. We feel that we have lost nothing by giving him that opportunity, and the same can be said of Tuomas."
Haapala resumes training in what would normally for him be the break between seasons, but Pearce is confident that after slipping back into the routine he will begin to feature for Steve Wigley's reserve side.
"He's been away back home for quite a while, but he will be in there pretty soon without a doubt. In fact, I don't think we can put him in until January 1st."