Transfer latest: Bristol Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth rival news on key day as free agents officially become available

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It’s July 1 - a key date in the summer transfer window as free agents officially become available. Here’s the latest League One new involving out-of-contract players.

Rovers’ Friend

Bristol Rovers are set to land defender Gerorge Friend.

The former Middlesbrough man is on trial with the Gas, and is set to become Joey Barton’s fourth signing of the summer.

The 35-year-old has just been released by Birningham and Barton thinks Friend will continue a good summer of business to date.

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He told Bristol Live: ‘It’s nearly there and he’ll be another good addition to the group for us,” said Barton, with Friend following Luke Thomas, James Wilson and Jevani Brown as summer signings. “He’s been good while he’s been with us.’

Charlton keep up by landing Jones

Charlton Athletic have brought in Cambridge defender Lloyd Jones on a free transfer.

Free agents (L-R) Lloyd Jones, George Friend, Mason Bennett and Callum McManaman are all on the move.Free agents (L-R) Lloyd Jones, George Friend, Mason Bennett and Callum McManaman are all on the move.
Free agents (L-R) Lloyd Jones, George Friend, Mason Bennett and Callum McManaman are all on the move.

Jones arrives on a two-year contract from the Abbey Stadium after winning a string of player of the season honours.

A medical was passed without an issue for the former Liverpool youngster, paving the way for the deal to be completed.

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Boss Dean Holden told the club’s website: ‘Lloyd signs for us on the back of an excellent season at Cambridge United. He is a very good centre-half who plays with real authority, is confident on the ball and a threat from set-pieces. He’s a good leader with experience of captaining sides.

‘Our setpiece record, both defensively and in front of goal, was a clear area where we wanted to improve on last season and Lloyd will be important for us in both boxes.

Burton Bennett

Mason Bennett has signed a two-year deal with Burton after his release from Millwall.

The once much-hyped Derby starlet has moved to the Pirelli Stadium - and rejoined the club he spent time on loan at early in his career.

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Bennett told Burton’s website:’ I’m delighted to be back. I have fond memories here. Obviously, the last time I was here we got promoted to the Championship and there’s great people around the club.

‘It’s nice to be closer to home again and there was opportunities to go elsewhere, but the main thing is to play games and enjoy football again.

‘There are great supporters here and I think the infrastructure is in place at Burton for anyone to play and enjoy themselves.

‘After speaking to the manager, he only wants us to go one way. I will do my all to do my best for the football club and for the team.’

Latics chance

Wigan have re-signed Callum McManaman for a third time.

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The 32-year-old has been without a club for a year since leaving Tranmere, but now gets a chance to resurrect his career with the Latics.

He said: ‘I was grateful for the opportunity to get my career back on track after a difficult 12 months.

"I feel like it's one of my proudest achievements to earn this contract, as I've put in a lot of work behind the scenes because I've really wanted this opportunity to come back on merit.

‘I still have a lot to offer, and I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business with how my last spell here ended.’

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