Luton Town have announced the signing of goalkeeper Simon Sluga from Croatian side HNK Rijeka for a club-record fee.
The 26-year-old, who made his debut for the Croatian national team earlier this summer, has joined on a three-year deal, with the Hatters set to spend at least €1.5million on the 6th 3in stopper.
Sluga, who spent time in Juventus’ youth system, made a total of 86 appearances in all competitions for Rijeka, winning two Croatian Cups and a Croatian League title during his time with the Croatian outfit’s senior side.
Speaking to the club’s official website following confirmation of Sluga’s arrival, Luton manager Graeme Jones said: “I’m delighted to break to club-record fee with signing a current Croatian international, who is basically second choice for the country who 12 months ago were playing in a World Cup final.
“That shows the pedigree of players that we’ve been scouting throughout Europe since March.”
Discussing Sluga’s style of play, Jones added: He’s incredibly athletic and powerful. He’s an excellent footballer – an 11th player for us – and he has a fantastic presence and great reflexes. He’s brave, focussed and driven.”
After their promotion back to the Championship as League One champions last season, Sluga becomes Luton’s fifth signing of the current transfer window, following the likes of Brendan Galloway, Martin Cranie, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Callum McManaman in making the move to Kenilworth Road this summer.
This is a good piece of business from Luton.
Sluga is clearly a reliable goalkeeper, as shown by his involvement with a national side who little over a year ago were playing in a World Cup final.
The recruitment of Sluga will therefore only serve to strengthen the Hatters’ goalkeeping department, which could be crucial as they face the difficult task of establishing themselves in the Championship next season.
That Luton have broken their club-record transfer fee to sign Sluga is a big sign of their intent for next season, and will only serve to provide encouragement to the club’s fans that they are serious about competing at Championship level in the coming campaign.