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Colchester United swoop for Kilmarnock midfielder Slater

Craig Slater has joined Colchester United. Credit: PA

Colchester United have signed Kilmarnock midfielder Craig Slater for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old rejected a new contract in Scotland in favour of moving to Essex - despite reported interest from Aberdeen.

Slater has signed a two-year deal and follows Forest Green Rovers striker Kurtis Guthrie in joining the U's this week.

Meanwhile, young striker Femi Akinwande has signed a new one-year contract at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

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Colchester sign midfielder Doug Loft

Colchester United have confirmed the signing of Doug Loft. Credit: PA

Colchester United have confirmed the signing of midfielder Doug Loft from Gillingham.

Doug joins the U's with experience of playing in League One and League Two. His former clubs include Brighton and Hove, Port Vale and his most recent club Gillingham, where he made 72 appearances in two seasons.

MK Dons defender Hodson completes move to Scottish giants

Lee Hodson is heading to Rangers. Credit: PA

MK Dons defender Lee Hodson has completed his move to Scottish giants Rangers.

The right-back has moved to Glasgow for an undisclosed fee after impressing during a successful loan spell at Kilmarnock last season.

24-year-old Hodson helped the Dons gain promotion to The Championship back in 2015.

He has signed a three-year deal at Ibrox.

It’s amazing, an opportunity to come to such a massive club is a dream come true.

From the day I heard that there was an opportunity to come here my mind was made up and I couldn’t be more excited at the moment.

I cant wait to get started and meet all the lads.

– Lee Hodson, Rangers

Meanwhile, Colchester United have signed former Gillingham winger Brennan Dickenson on a free transfer.

Colchester United seal deals for Championship duo

Denny Johnstone has made the move to Colchester United. Credit: PA

Colchester United have signed Birmingham City striker Denny Johnstone and Brentford winger Courtney Senior.

21-year-old Johnstone joins for an undisclosed fee and impressed while on loan at Scottish Championship side Morton last season.

Senior has agreed a free transfer and was out on loan at Wycombe during the last campaign.

Both players have signed two-year contracts at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Meanwhile, MK Dons have completed the signing of George Williams who has been released by Barnsley.

Edwards becomes latest Colchester United player to leave

Joe Edwards has signed for Walsall. Credit: PA

Colchester United defender Joe Edwards has left the club to sign for League One side Walsall.

The 25-year-old made more than 40 appearances for the U's last season, but will now join the Saddlers once his contract expires at the end of the month.

I’m delighted to be here.

It’s a fantastic club and they had a really good season last year.

I’ve played against Walsall a few times before and they have always been a very good footballing side. They like to pass it about and they play with a good intensity.

I had a meeting with the manager a few weeks ago and I came away thinking this was the club for me.

– Joe Edwards, Walsall

Edwards follows Alex Gilbey and George Moncur in leaving Essex this week.

Meanwhile, Peterborough United have signed Crawley Town attacking midfielder Gwion Edwards for an undisclosed fee.

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Colchester United dealt another blow as Gilbey joins Wigan Athletic

Alex Gilbey (right) has joined Wigan Athletic. Credit: PA

Promising Colchester United midfielder Alex Gilbey has joined League One champions Wigan Athletic after rejecting a new contract at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The 21-year-old is the second high profile departure of the day following confirmation of George Moncur's move to Barnsley.

Gilbey was one the shining lights for the U's last season despite their relegation to League Two.

Colchester will be entitled to a compensation fee for Gilbey who has agreed a three-year deal at the DW Stadium.

Alex was one of the outstanding young talents in League One last season, and we believe the next stage of his career can be fulfilled here.

He’s exactly the sort of player and person who suits this club and we’re delighted to add him to the group for pre-season.

He scored an excellent goal against us at Colchester last season and he was a standout player on the day, making him an excellent addition.

– Gary Caldwell, Wigan Athletic manager

Sammie Szmodics signs new deal with Colchester

Sammie Szmodics' new contract starts on 1 July Credit: Colchester United

Colchester United forward Sammie Szmodics has signed a new three-year contract with the League Two club.

The 20-year-old has played 54 times for the U's since coming through their academy.

He'll remain with the club until at least the summer of 2019.

Szmodics missed half of last season after a foot injury, but says he is looking forward to getting back onto the pitch.

It was so frustrating last season, not being able to get out on the pitch and having to watch us battle against relegation from the stands.

Missing so many games has made me really hungry for football and I can't wait until we get started again at the end of the month.

Being offered a new contract when I have missed half a season shows that the club has faith in me and I'm really grateful and can't wait to repay that faith.

– Sammie Szmodics
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