Leeds United seal second summer signing as Daniel Farke continues squad rebuild

Leeds United have bolstered their goalkeeping department, signing Alex Cairns on a permanent deal from Salford City. The 31-year-old has rejoined the Whites for a nominal six-figure fee and is set to fill the role of third-choice shot-stopper behind Illan Meslier and Karl Darlow.

Doncaster-born Cairns has penned a two-year contract and takes the place of Kristoffer Klaesson, who left Elland Road to join Polish top flight side Rakow Częstochowa yesterday. Cairns is no stranger to United, having come through the academy at Thorp Arch. He progressed into the first-team set up, making one senior appearance for the club before being released in 2015.

Cairns boasts a wealth of experience in the sport, having racked up over 300 career league appearances. He played 51 times for Salford last term, starting every league match as the Ammies finished 20th in League Two. Cairns also started the Carabao Cup first round tie against Daniel Farke’s side, coming out on top in a penalty shoot-out against his boyhood side.

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An important part of the transfer is that Cairns will be classed as a homegrown player. His arrival satisfies two English Football League regulations.

Cairns is a homegrown and a 'club developed player' - a player that has been with the club for three years before the age of 21. EFL rules state that clubs must name a minimum of one “club developed player” and seven homegrown players in 25-man squad list. Cairns helps United hit that quota along with versatile defender Sam Byram.

But on an EFL matchday teamsheet, United must also name one club developed player that has been with the club for three seasons or more. The departures of Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell left the Whites two club developed players light but Farke's men will be able to name Cairns, Byram or any of the current Under 21s who have been at Thorp Arch for three seasons or more.

Cairns becomes United's second summer signing, following on from the permanent capture of Joe Rodon.