Linfield sign defender Matty Clarke from Rangers

Mathew Clarke in action for Northern Ireland Under-19s against Moldova

Linfield have signed Northern Ireland Under-19 full-back Matthew Clarke following his release by Rangers.

The Castlederg teenager had been on the Blues' books before moving to Scotland in 2010 and he has now signed a two-year deal with the Windsor Park club.

"Matthew was a target of other clubs and I am delighted he chose to sign for us," said Blues boss David Jeffrey.

Linfield have also agreed one-year contract extensions with defender Jim Ervin and striker Peter Thompson.

Young reserve goalkeeper Gareth Deane is also staying for another year but former Ballymena midfielder Nathan Hanley has not been offered fresh terms.

Former Northern Ireland international Thompson has scored more than 220 in his Linfield career but managed just eight in a disappointing 2012/13 season which saw the Blues surrender their Irish Premiership crown to Cliftonville.

"Peter and Jim are very senior players at the club," added manager Jeffrey.

"They recognised how disappointing last year was and they are very much up to the challenge of aiming to recapture silverware next year."

Meanwhile, Cliftonville have agreed a new two-year contract with 25-year-old winger Martin Donnelly.

He has scored 12 goals in 97 appearances since signing from Crusaders in 2011.

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