Carlisle United are moving closer to making their seventh summer signing, with a new defender in the Blues’ sights.

It is understood an experienced centre-half who has recently played in League One is in advanced talks with the Cumbrians.

Carlisle are hoping to get the signing over the line soon as they seek to add another established defender to the recent capture of Byron Webster.

The addition would be a timely boost to their squad with United’s pre-season friendlies starting in five days’ time.

The move comes as one of their defensive trialists is spending time away from Brunton Park.

Former Crystal Palace and Dulwich Hamlet man Michael Chambers has linked up with another club on trial.

The 25-year-old has trained with the Cumbrians since the start of pre-season but did not join Steven Pressley’s squad for their two-day outdoor training trip to Coniston, which started yesterday.

Carlisle have said the door is still open for Chambers to return but, because the Blues cannot offer the big centre-half an immediate decision on a contract, have said he is free to look at other options.

Manager Pressley said: “Another opportunity has come up, he has spoken to me and I wanted to be honest with him about the situation.

“Because we couldn’t guarantee him a decision immediately, for the next two to three weeks, he is able to look at that option and we don’t want to stand in his way in doing that.

“He knows he can still come back here if he wishes.”

United’s other three trialists – Miles Storey, Elliott Reeves and Tyrone Duffus – remain with the squad. They joined Pressley’s other players in the Lakes yesterday for a series of team-building activities in an initiative organised by strength and conditioning coach David Waldie.

Yesterday it included a two-hour canoe orienteering challenge on Coniston Water, with other activities in the evening at the squad’s base of Lanehead.

The players, along with Pressley and his first-team coaching staff, are today due to be climbing the Old Man of Coniston before returning to Carlisle.

The Blues are also hoping to make progress with other transfer targets, with a number of loan players in their sights.

Pressley said he will ideally go with a squad of around 23 first-team players in the 2019/20 campaign.

This week’s sale of Liam McCarron has created another gap in the squad which the manager would like to fill.

He said: “If we get them fit enough and robust enough, that would be our 19 [senior players] and our three or four young boys. So that would be a squad of 23.

“If you go too big, you never get your young players through. A situation where, if you have any injuries, young players can go into the group is ideal.

“If we have the right balance to the group and have players who can play a number of positions, I feel that is the right size of squad.”