Steele's FA Cup dream lives on after Barnsley and West Brom agree permanent deal


Last updated at 16:07 20 March 2008

Luke Steele's FA Cup dream lives on - the goalkeeper is returning to Barnsley on a permanent basis.

West Brom, who had loaned Steele to the fellow FA Cup semi-finalists - have agreed a deal with the Oakwell club which sees the 23-year-old keeper initially rejoin the Tykes on loan until the end of the season.

Steele will then become a fully fledged Barnsley player in May on a free transfer, although the Baggies have inserted a 50 per cent sell-on clause in the deal.

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Steele celebrates dumping Chelsea out of the FA Cup

Former Manchester United goalkeeper, Steele returned to Albion on Monday after a successful one-month spell in South Yorkshire.

But the two clubs have now thrashed out a deal which means Steele is eligible to fulfil his dream of playing in Barnsley's FA Cup semi-final against Cardiff at Wembley.

The stopper played a heroic role in the Tykes's famous triumphs over Liverpool at Anfield and Chelsea at home to reach a last-four Wembley showdown.

However, under present FA rules, he would not be able to face the Baggies in the final should both teams progress.

Steele said: "It has been resolved and I am really happy to be


"I will be up there training tomorrow and looking forward to the game on

Saturday against Sheffield United.

"Everyone knows I have not had the best time at West Brom and it has been

frustrating for me. But Barnsley have given me a chance and hopefully I have

done well enough to keep my place.

"All I wanted to do was to make sure I could play in the semi-final and the

league games for the rest of the season.

"I want to be settled at a club, be the number one and play every week and I

feel I have the ability to do that. But I am just glad the clubs have sorted out

the differences.

"I thought it would be resolved one way or the other. I never really thought

it wouldn't happen because everyone involved was making it happen. Sometimes

these things take a long time."

Hawthorns chairman Jeremy Peace said: "I'm delighted for all parties concerned - and particularly Luke - that we've been able to come to an agreement.

"We've always been happy for Luke to go back to Barnsley and play in the semi-final - providing the deal was right for us.

"We felt we were a big help to Barnsley by allowing Luke to join them for a month and heavily subsidising his wages.

"Now Barnsley's financial situation has changed due to their lucrative FA Cup run, we've managed to strike a deal which suits everyone.

"Luke was No 3 goalkeeper here and unlikely to get first-team football.

"He's now got a chance to play regularly and we wish him every success at Barnsley."

Under present Football Association rules, Steele would not be able to

play against the Baggies should Barnsley and West Brom reach the FA Cup final in


Steele joined Albion from Manchester United in August 2006 and made two senior appearances for the club - both in December last year.

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