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Gym meeting led to Glentoran flexing their muscles and signing Alex Leu

By Graham Luney

A chance meeting in a Belfast gym led to Glentoran's latest unusual business in the transfer market.

Glens fans were stunned when former Rangers star Nacho Novo rolled up at The Oval but the surprise news didn't end there as the club announced it has swooped for Moldova international Alex Leu.

Even boss Alan Kernaghan admitted it was a "strange one" but like any manager he's content to add quality to his squad wherever it comes from.

The 25-year-old, who earned a cap for Moldova in 2014, played for FC Spicul in his home country last season but now he's waiting for international clearance to feature for the Glens after agreeing a one-year deal.

Kernaghan said: "One of our reserve team coaches John Savage goes to a gym on the Boucher Road and him and Alex work with the same personal trainer.

"Alex came to us and played in two or three games in pre-season and it has just taken a long time to get things organised from there.

"The opportunity came about to do the deal and we are grateful again to the Glentoran supporters in helping to make it possible. He is another quality player to add to the squad and he's versatile as he can play at left-back or left midfield.

"Obviously I had to do some research on him and the YouTube clips verified the good reports I had heard. It is a strange one but hopefully Alex will enjoy his time with us and be successful."

Leu adds a little more international flavour to the Irish League with Linfield, in particular, casting the recruitment net wide by bringing in New Zealander Kris Bright who joins Roy Carroll, Sammy Clingan and Josh Carson at Windsor Park.

Kernaghan added: "A manager simply wants to bring in the best players he can.

"As long as it's within the financial budgets of clubs then it can be worth it."

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