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Yeovil Town boss Gary Johnson is 'delighted' to sign Aaron Martin

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: June 05, 2014

Centre-back Aaron Martin has signed for Yeovil Town PICTURE: ADRIAN HOPPER

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Yeovil Town have bolstered their defensive ranks ahead of the 2014-15 season by beating Coventry to the signing of former Birmingham centre- half Aaron Martin.

The 24-year-old heads to Huish Park on a two-year deal after being released by the Sky Bet Championship Blues.

The Isle of Wight-born player began his career with Conference outfit Eastleigh before turning professional with Southampton in 2009.

Martin gained experience with the Saints in League One, but made just 29 appearances in four-and-a-half years, taking in loan spells with Salisbury, Crystal Palace and Coventry.

He joined Birmingham at the start of the year when his contract at St Mary's was terminated by mutual consent.

Martin spent a 12-game spell with Coventry at the start of last season, prompting interest from the Sky Blues in a permanent return.

However, Glovers' boss Gary Johnson has moved to rebuild his back line.

He said: "We are delighted to have been able to sign Aaron, a player that I have tried to sign on a few occasions with other clubs, so I am really pleased.

"Aaron is a really dominant centre-half who had a good spell at Southampton and also Coventry.

"Not only is he a good player, he has a good character as well, which is what we need."

Meanwhile, doubt continues to surround the immediate future of Webster and Luke Ayling after Johnson suggested that a Huish Park return was not entirely out of the question.

The defensive pair have been linked with returns to the second tier having seemingly snubbed new contract offers from the relegated Glovers.

Webster is believed to have talked with Millwall, while interesting Rotherham, Leeds United and Ipswich. Ayling, meanwhile, is understood to be on the radars of both Ipswich and Brentford.

However, Johnson said that the club had not heard from the players or their agents in a month, pointing out that they had only missed the original deal deadline – and not closed the door permanently on an extend Yeovil career.

He said: "Once they turn down the offer we have to go down other avenues, of course. But there's every possibility of them taking up the offer.

"They get a month to take that offer and that month was up on June 1 and we haven't heard from either of them or their representatives yet as to whether they want to re-negotiate with us – which would be good – or if they want to join someone else, which would not be good.

"I've always said that I expect them to move on. That's not that I want them to move on, I just expect them to. That June 1 deadline means that contract offer that we gave them is only open until then.

"After that, of course, we can re-negotiate, give them the same figure or whatever we want to do. But our rules are that the actual, official offer that we made them is only open for a month."

It is understood that the Glovers are yet to receive interest in Ayling, who would command a compensation fee as he is under 24. Johnson added that the versatile former Arsenal youngster's age could count against him.

Asked if clubs may be deterred by having to pay for younger players' services, the boss said: "It might do because there are a lot of players out there that are free agents.

"What people don't realise about the new financial regulations is that any money that you spend, whether it's transfer fees, agent's fees or signing-on fees, all counts within the new rules as expenditure."

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