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Spartans secure the services of Estonian defender Nikita Baranov on two-year deal

Ħamrun Spartans have completed their first acquisition of the close season when they signed Estonia international defender Nikita Baranov.

The 28-year-old centre back has agreed terms with the newly-crowned Malta champions and has put pen to paper on a two-year contract.

The capture of Baranov is another major statement of intent as the Spartans are bringing in a very experienced international player in Estonian football.

In fact, Baranov has represented his country at U-21 level for 13 times and more importantly he collected 43 caps with the Estonian national teams.

During his career, Baranov has played for FC Flora, before he headed to Norway where he signed for Kristiansund and Sogndal IL.

In 2019, Baranov moved to Bulgaria with PFC Beroe before heading to Armenia where he played for Alaskhert.

Last year, he moved to Cypriot side Karmiotissa, with whom he made 20 appearances last season.

Baranov is expected to arrive in Malta on Monday to join Mark Buttigieg’s squad in their pre-season preparations.

The signing of Baranov is likely to be the start of a series of transfer moves from the Spartans who are looking to strengthen their team ahead of new season and participation in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, provided they get the green light from UEFA.

The Reds are currently in talks with Floriana for wing back Ryan Camenzuli but so far no deal has been agreed between the two clubs.

The Spartans are also planning to bring in a new midfielder and a striker in the coming days when the team is expected to start pre-season training.

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