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Linfield make quadruple signing as Glentoran back up Irish Cup success with new arrivals of their own


Navid Nasseri has moved across Belfast to Linfield

Navid Nasseri has moved across Belfast to Linfield

Navid Nasseri has moved across Belfast to Linfield

With the Northern Irish transfer window opening up today, defending Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield have wasted no time in strengthening their squad.

David Healy's side have already announced four new arrivals to Windsor Park, including a double swoop of rivals Glentoran to bring in winger Navid Nasseri and midfielder Conor Pepper.

The Belfast giants have also confirmed the arrivals of goalkeeper Chris Johns and striker Christy Manzinga, who make the switch to Windsor Park from Coleraine and Motherwell respectively.

It is the arrival of Nasseri that catches the eye, however, as the Englishman makes the move across Belfast after being instrumental in the Glens' Irish Cup success over Ballymena United only last night.

The 24-year-old has lit up the Irish League since moving to The Oval back in October from Gillingham and will be a more than adequate replacement for the outgoing Joel Cooper.

Former Republic of Ireland underage international Pepper, meanwhile, will also bolster the Blues' midfield stocks ahead of their Champions League tie against Tre Fiori later this month.

The 26-year-old from Dublin joins after making 62 appearances in two years at The Oval, with his career thus far taking him from St Pat's Athletic to Dunfermline and then Greenock Morton in Scotland before moving to Glentoran.

The arrival of Johns, who moves south from Coleraine to be the Blues' new No.1 between the sticks, was already known having been announced on a pre-contract previously, with today's announcement being official confirmation.

The 25-year-old, who had spells with Southampton and Bangor prior to joining the Bannsiders, played for four years at the Showgrounds and won an Irish Cup with the northern side prior to making the switch to Linfield.

Manzinga, a Democratic Republic of Congo international, arrivesfrom Scottish Premiership outfit Motherwell after training with the Premiership champions on Thursday night.

The forward, 25, has had a storied career to date having started his career at Paris St Germain before spending time with Lorient, Angers II, Sporting Chatelet and then Motherwell under Northern Irish manager Stephen Robinson last season.

All three players have signed two-year contracts at Windsor Park.

Meanwhile, the Glens themselves, fresh off last night's Irish Cup success, have confirmed three signings of their own, announcing the high-profile capture of former Northern Ireland and Manchester United defender Luke McCullough.

Mick McDermott has also moved quickly to bring in midfielder Jamie McDonagh from Derry City, while goalkeeper Rory Brown makes the switch from already relegated Institute.

The experience of 26-year-old McCullough will be a big boost for the Glens, with the six-time internationally capped defender having spent six years with Doncaster Rovers after coming through Manchester United's youth academy.

The Portadown man spent the last two seasons with Tranmere Rovers, making 37 appearances, but has now made a return home to sign with the recently crowned Irish Cup winners.

Lisburn man McDonagh makes his move to the Irish League after a season with Derry in the League of Ireland and will also bring plenty of nous from across the water after spending time with Sheffield United and Greenock Morton.

The 24-year-old was vital in helping the Candystripes achieve European football last season and will hope to continue that on having joined the Europa League-bound Glens.

Former Republic of Ireland Under-18 'keeper Brown joins after spending a season as the regular starter for Institute in the Danske Bank Premiership, while he also spent three years with Wolverhampton Wanderers as a youth prospect.

Elsewhere, Larne have confirmed the already announced signing of defender Joshua Robinson from Linfield.

Belfast Telegraph