Brentford have signed goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha on a four-year deal from Lazio, subject to international clearance.
The 27-year-old – who joins on a free transfer – has played more than 200 times for Lazio and more than 150 Serie A matches, also earning 19 caps for Albania, and will join his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Germany in the next few days.
Athens-born Strakosha’s 2020/2021 season was hampered by injury but he cemented his role as Lazio’s starting goalkeeper on return, playing the last 23 Serie A games en route to a fifth-place finish last season
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank told the club’s website: “I am pleased that we have managed to sign a top goalkeeper. He has been number one at Lazio for a long time, which is very impressive.
“He has played in Serie A and European competition and will bring that experience with him. He fits our goalkeeper model and comes in to a good environment with David Raya and Matthew Cox pushing each other every day.
Strakosha, whose father Foto also started between the posts for Albania, joined Lazio in aged 17 in 2012 and played his first matches with their under-19 side.
He made his professional debut in Serie B while on loan at Salernitana during the 2015/16 season.
Strakosha’s signing came on the same day his new club announced they had moved one step closer to a “significant improvement” to training facilities at Jersey Road.
Hounslow Council has granted planning permission for new, temporary facilities in a proposal now subject to approval by the Mayor of London.
Brentford expect the new facilities to be operational by the end of the year and in use for five years, with a long-term vision to build a permanent facility.
A club statement read: “This decision means that the club can replace the existing buildings at Jersey Road. The new training facility, whilst temporary, will be of a much higher standard and represent a significant improvement on what we have now.
“It will act as a stepping-stone towards our longer-term vision for a state-of-the-art performance centre.”
The announcement follows a consultation process with the local community, and preliminary works are now under way.
Brentford later also confirmed the signing of 18-year-old midfielder Yehor Yarmoliuk from Ukrainian side SC Dnipro-1.
Yarmoliuk joins the Bees for an undisclosed fee and has signed a three-year contract, subject to international clearance, with a club option of an additional 12-month extension.
The midfielder will initially join up with Neil MacFarlane’s Brentford B as he looks to challenge for a place in the first-team squad.