BARROW AFC have today completed the signing of Preston North End defender Nick Wilmer-Anderton on a free transfer.

The 20-year-old full-back will become a Bluebirds player on July 1 following his impending release by the Deepdale outfit.

Wilmer-Anderton has spent two lengthy loan spells at Holker Street in each of the last two seasons and has chosen Barrow despite offers from a couple of Football League clubs.

He has signed a two-year deal with the Bluebirds and cited how happy he has been at the club and his treatment by manager Paul Cox as his reasons for opting to sign up permanently.

The Bluebirds boss had been hopeful of a positive outcome after holding talks with the player in recent weeks, and now the deal has been done.

Cox is pursuing a number of targets in various positions as he continues to build his squad for next season. One of these is forward Ben Tomlinson. He spent the last three months of the season on loan at AFC from League Two Barnet, scoring four times between February and April. He has a year left on his contract with the Bees, but the North London side have said they will allow him to leave. 

Cox, however, feels there are issues which need to be resolved between player and club before Barrow can think of trying to bring the 26-year-old former Lincoln City man to South Cumbria on a permanent basis. 

Cox told the Mail this week: “Ben is still a Barnet player and we have to be respectful of that.

“We’ll watch the situation closely, but you’ve got to be respectful if he is somebody else’s player – I’m not going to sit with a player until all his personal situation with Barnet has been sorted. 

“It’s one we are monitoring and we would like to sit down with the lad, but there is a lot of politics and contractual stuff that has to be sorted before we can do that and talk logically with him.”