Baxter exit paves way for Slovakian ace
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS and SIMON SMEDLEY
Date online: 30 August 2013
STRIKER Jose Baxter has signed a three-year contract to join Athletic rivals Sheffield United for an undisclosed fee - believed to be less than £300,000.
But Athletic manager Lee Johnson has already found a replacement in Manchester City’s 19-year-old Slovakian midfield starlet Albert Rusnak, who joined Latics on a half-season loan this morning.
Rusnak joined the Blues from MFK Kosice in 2008 and is rated very highly at the Etihad Stadium.
Johnson moved quickly to secure Rusnak’s services: earlier today he was tweeting about how sorry he was to see Baxter go, adding that he was looking forward to announcing a new player. The announcement came only a couple of hours later.
Rusnak made his first-team bow in City’s friendly against Chelsea in America at the end of last season and struck twice in the Elite Development Squad’s Bank Holiday Monday 3-0 win over Everton under the watchful eye of Manuel Pellegrini.
Baxter joined Athletic in September 2012 after rejecting a new two-year contract with Everton, where he wasn’t getting enough match time. He became an instant hit at Boundary Park, playing 50 first-team games and scoring 17 goals.
Rusnak’s signing wasn’t the only new player Johnson acquired today: earlier he captured the services of Italian defender Matteo Lanzoni on short-term contract.
The 25-year-old centre back has agreed a four-month deal subject to international clearance. He has been training with the club for two weeks.
The former Italy under-19 international has spent most of his career at Sampdoria, but never played for the first team. Last season, he appeared for Carrarese in C1.
Johnson said: “His attributes – he is aggressive and good on the ball – are more suited to the English game. Matteo is a fantastic professional and I am looking forward to working with him.”
Athletic’s 18-year-old midfielder Danny Gosset has signed for Stockport County on a one-month youth loan. He will make his debut for the Hatters in tomorrow’s Skrill North fixture at Harrogate Town.
Gosset, from Bangor, North Wales, was handed his first-team debut as a second-year scholar in the League One match at Shrewsbury Town in April. He made his full debut four days later at Leyton Orient.
Danny has been with Oldham since he was an under-14s player, and was one of four youths offered professional contracts in April.
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