Alex Cairns has completed a permanent transfer to Championship side Leeds United.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper made 77 appearances for the Ammies across two seasons, having joined from Fleetwood in January 2023 on a loan deal that became permanent that summer.

Cairns has been a mainstay since his arrival at the Peninsula stadium and captained the side throughout their 2023-24 campaign.

During his spell at the club, Cairns’ consistent performances have made him extremely popular amongst supporters, who he addressed in his farewell statement.

“I just want to say thank you for letting me represent your club these last 18 months. I’ve loved every minute of it and I will forever watch on and hope for success for the football club!”

Cairns provided Ammies’ fans with a rare moment to smile about in a turbulent last season. By denying forward Georginio Rutter from twelve yards, he helped Salford to achieve a famous penalty shootout victory against Leeds in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Alex Cairns has completed a permanent transfer to Leeds United

The experienced shot-stopper began his career with Leeds, and his return to Elland Road will allow the Whites to comply with the EFL’s homegrown player quota. Championship rules stipulate that clubs must register at least eight homegrown players in their 25-man squad.

Salford manager Karl Robinson must now work to fill the void Cairns leaves behind. The shot-stopper kept 8 clean sheets in a struggling side last campaign and could prove difficult to replace.

He will hope to have sourced his new number one before Salford begin their 2024-25 League season against Port Vale on August 10.

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