Carlisle United have today confirmed former Manchester United full-back George Tanner as their first summer signing.

The 20-year-old has signed a two-year deal at Brunton Park.

Tanner, who played against the Cumbrians whilst on loan at Morecambe last season, has been training with his new team-mates with United beginning what is expected to be a flurry of signing announcements this week.

He could be seen as a natural replacement in the squad for former first-choice right-back Gethin Jones, who turned down a new deal with the Blues, although Tanner can also operate on the left or further forward.

A product of Manchester United’s academy, former England under-17 international Tanner played for the top-flight club’s age group sides and in Premier League 2.

The Blackpool-born player was loaned to Morecambe last season and impressed in his 29 appearances there, including in the Shrimps’ two home games against Carlisle in the Trophy and League Two respectively.

He was recalled by Man Utd in January before the 20-year-old then, after being linked to Wigan, made a temporary move to Salford, but did not feature for the Ammies.

Tanner was released by Man Utd last month among a group of academy-reared players that also included Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Angel Gomes, Demetri Mitchell, Dion McGhee, Ethan Hamilton, Aidan Barlow, Kieran O’Hara, Alex Fojticek and Largie Ramazani.

United boss Chris Beech said Tanner had turned down opportunities to join the squads of Championship clubs in favour of a first-team chance at Carlisle.

He said on the club's website: “He comes to us with tremendous pedigree, having been at Manchester United since he was eight, and having progressed all the way through their system, as well as representing England through the various age groups.

“George is naturally a right-back, but he can also play further forward, or as a left-back. He’s strong in his one-against-one situations and has pace, power and strength to get forward."

Beech said he was impressed with Tanner when watching him during his Morecambe spell last term.

He added: “What supporters don’t see, or hear, is that George pushed for that loan move. He was determined to go and play men’s football rather than sit in the safety of the under-23s football and bide his time. 

“George, like most of his peers was made available at the end of last season, and he could have gone to a couple of Championship sides and joined their squads. He didn’t want to do that because he wants to play.

“He wants to build on the games he’s already clocked up and play for the three points.”

Beech added he was pleased the club, including director of football David Holdsworth, backed the move with the offer of a two-year contract.