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Bednář handed 'dream' deal by Sparta

"I am the happiest I could be," said Roman Bednář after the Czech international forward was handed an initial one-year contract at his beloved AC Sparta Praha.

Roman Bednář in action for West Brom against Sparta's UEFA Europa League opponents Chelsea
Roman Bednář in action for West Brom against Sparta's UEFA Europa League opponents Chelsea ©Getty Images

UEFA Europa League contenders AC Sparta Praha have signed 29-year-old Czech international forward Roman Bednář on an initial 12-month deal.

An out-of-contract Bednář linked up with the Sparta squad at the start of January and duly earned the deal, which was signed during a training camp in Jerez, Spain. It includes a performance-related option for a further two and a half years.

"It has been my ambition since the very beginning," said Bednář. "I have earned a contract at the club I support: I am the happiest I could be. I think the coaches wanted to find out if had lost my enthusiasm for football, and they saw that was not the case."

Bednář, who has eight international caps, started out with FK Mladá Boleslav before embarking on a career path that included notable spells at Heart of Midlothian FC and West Bromwich Albion FC. "Roman persuaded us that he deserved the contract," said Sparta board member Jakub Otava. "I am sure he is going to be a great addition. He has Sparta in his heart."

Bednář – most recently with Sivasspor in Turkey – is Sparta's third winter recruit following the arrivals of midfielder Lukáš Vácha from FC Slovan Liberec and striker David Lafata from FK Jablonec.

Vítězslav Lavička's men are preparing for their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie with Chelsea FC, the first leg of which is scheduled for 14 February in Prague.