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Confirmed: Glenavon winger Joel Cooper set to join Linfield

By Gareth Hanna

Glenavon's Joel Cooper will join Linfield this summer.

As was revealed in the Belfast Telegraph last week, the winger has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Belfast club.

Glenavon and Linfield have both now confirmed the deal.

"Linfield FC is pleased to confirm that Joel Cooper has signed a pre-contract to join this club for three years from the start of the 2018/19 season," said a club statement. "This has been lodged with the IFA for registration purposes and we look forward to welcoming Joel to Windsor Park."

Glenavon revealed that they had earlier this month offered the player "a new improved three and a half year contract until May 2021."

After our story last week, Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton left Cooper out of the starting line-up for the 3-2 win over Linfield on Saturday.

Cooper came on as an 86th minute substitute, although Hamilton had said that the player assured him he was yet to pen a pre-contract deal with Linfield.

Cooper was signed by Glenavon from Ballyclare Comrades back in 2015 and helped the club to Irish Cup success the following season. One of his best performances arrived in the same competition last season when he scored twice in a 5-0 demolition of local rivals Portadown.

However, Cooper moved to America on a scholarship during the summer and had hoped to play for the University of New Hampshire team in the top division of college soccer. He cut his spell across the Atlantic short and returned to league action for Glenavon on December 30.

He scored two goals against Ards earlier this month, although that game was later postponed due to the weather.

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