NEWPORT County AFC have signed “warrior” centre-back Declan Drysdale from Coventry City for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old had another season to run on his contract with the Sky Blues but will drop down from the Championship to League Two, with the transfer to be rubber-stamped when the window opens on Friday.

The 6ft 4ins defender, comfortable across a three or in a flat four, came through the academy at Tranmere Rovers before moving to Coventry in 2019.

Drysdale had loan spells with Solihull Moors and Gillingham before helping Cambridge to promotion from League Two in 2021, scoring a winner against County at Rodney Parade.

South Wales Argus: CONFIDENT: County signing Declan Drysdale can play out from the backCONFIDENT: County signing Declan Drysdale can play out from the back

The Merseysider spent the second half of last season with Ross County in Scotland but will now head to Newport, with the Exiles believing they have signed a player with the talent to climb back up the leagues.

“Declan was in demand and I am really pleased to have got him,” said manager James Rowberry.

“He is a big man who is physical, aggressive and strong; he is a warrior who will give us that edge, but he can also play with the ball.

“Declan has been promoted with Cambridge and I believe he will give us something different.”

South Wales Argus: Declan Drysdale in action for Cambridge at Newport County in 2021Declan Drysdale in action for Cambridge at Newport County in 2021

Drysdale joins Mickey Demetriou, James Clarke and Priestley Farquharson as a specialist central defensive option.

Matty Dolan can also feature at the heart of a three and right-back Cameron Norman operated there on a couple of occasions last season.

The defender becomes the Exiles’ fifth signing of the summer after deals for midfielders Sam Bowen (Cardiff) and Aaron Wildig (Morecambe) and strikers Will Evans (Bala) and Chanka Zimba (Cardiff, loan).

Current County senior squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Townsend, Joe Day.

Full-backs: Cameron Norman, Aaron Lewis.

Central defenders: Mickey Demetriou, James Clarke, Priestley Farquharson, Declan Drysdale.

Defender/midfielders: Scot Bennett, Matty Dolan.

Midfield: Robbie Willmott, Sam Bowen, James Waite, Aaron Wildig.

Forwards: Lewis Collins, Will Evans, Chanka Zimba.