Socceroos star Ryan seals Real Sociedad move

Getty Images

WATCH Mat Ryan in LaLiga LIVE & ONLY on beIN SPORTS | 2-week free trial

The San Sebastián-based club - winner of the 2020 Copa del Rey and a fifth-placed finisher in last season’s Primera Division - has locked in an undisclosed fee with Brighton & Hove Albion for Ryan, who had a year to run on his Seagulls contract.

Having made 23 appearances during two years on Valencia’s books between 2015-2017, Ryan, 29, is familiar with the demands of one of Europe’s most hallowed competitions.

He’ll have the added bonus of being part of a Los Txuri-Urdin (The White-Blue) side which will also competing in next season’s Europa League.

The return to Spain - initially touted over the weekend by Basque media - has taken many by surprise, with Ryan strongly linked with Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic and a possible permanent move to Arsenal, for whom he made three Premier League appearances on loan last season as back-up to Bernd Leno.

After losing his starting spot to Robert Sanchez at the Amex last season, Ryan won’t necessarily have it all his own way at the Anoeta Stadium as he goes up against long-time first choice Alex Remiro.

He will fill the void left by previous understudy Miguel Ángel Moyá, who departed the club when his contract expired last week.

Sources close to Ryan claim he’s confident of making a strong claim to start the new season as first choice with a dream duel against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona on 15 August.