Carlisle United are set to complete the signing of a new defender today as they continue to rebuild their squad for the new season.

United have been in talks with the experienced centre-half in recent days and it is understood a deal has been agreed.

The player, with League One and Championship experience, is poised to become their sixth summer signing. It will add some crucial experience to both a defence and squad in need of further reinforcements.

With pre-season training now just three days away, Carlisle are hoping to do further deals to add to a squad which remains short of numbers.

They are in need of players in various positions and are close with some loan targets in midfield and attack.

Reports in the north east last night also linked the Blues with Gateshead midfielder Tom White, who was previously on Carlisle's youth books.

The Cumbrians last week completed the signing of Northampton midfielder Jack Bridge while fellow midfielder Stefan Scougall agreed a new deal.

Some of United’s first-team players have undergone fitness assessments ahead of the start of pre-season, overseen by strength and conditioning coach David Waldie.

Waldie said he has been pleased with the condition of those he has already assessed.

He said: “The lads who were here from last season were all given guidelines – maximum targets for their weight over the summer, their body fat and their heart and lung fitness. We re-tested them [last Thursday].

“As soon as we’ve had a new player signed, I’ve been in contact with them too. We have done a 1,400m run and measured weight and body fat, and they’ve all done really well, especially the young lads.

“If they came back overweight or unfit, from the standards we’ve set, they’d be starting pre-season early. If not – if they’ve looked after themselves over the summer – they get another few days off and start on Thursday.

“They’ve done fantastically. A couple of the lads I was expecting to be borderline have come back and been in the gym, doing the off-season plan, bought into it and I’ve been quite impressed, especially with their run. Everyone’s been quite pleasing.”

United’s first summer signing, left-back Jack Iredale, said he is looking forward to starting life as a Blues player.

The former Morton defender said: “I’m very excited. Ever since the end of last season when the deal went through I’ve been itching to get started.

“I’ve had a nice break at home and been on holiday, but once you’ve had a bit of time away from football, you do want to get back into it.”