Joe Garner has today left Carlisle United and completed a move to National League club Oldham Athletic.

The Blues have allowed the veteran striker to depart Brunton Park on a free transfer.

Garner's exit comes at a time United are hoping to bring in another frontman before Thursday's transfer deadline.

The 35-year-old's switch to Boundary Park brings an end to his fourth spell at Brunton Park after a year with the club.

Garner, after a run of starts earlier this season, has been back on the bench in recent weeks following the record signing of Luke Armstrong.

He has now opted to seek first-team football with Micky Mellon's Latics on an 18-month deal, with Oldham having been tracking Garner's availability for several weeks.

Garner's departure - the second forward to leave United in recent weeks after Ryan Edmondson's move to A-League club Central Coast Mariners - is set to be the first activity in a busy final day and a half of the transfer window.

While United want to add a frontman to their ranks, the signs are that midfielder Owen Moxon will be signing for Portsmouth.

Reports on the south coast say his agent, the ex-Blues manager Graham Kavanagh, is at Pompey's training ground today with a deal being finalised.

Garner's fourth spell at Brunton Park, after moving from Fleetwood Town last January, brought 48 appearances and six goals.

The popular striker was heavily involved in United's run-in to promotion last season, and started in the League Two play-off final against Stockport County.

He has hit four goals this season, most recently United's consolation goal in the FA Cup at Leyton Orient - where Carlisle return in the league this weekend.

Garner previously played for United on loan in the 2006/07 season, then permanently in 2007/08 before returning on loan from Watford in the 2012/13 campaign.

His new team-mates at Oldham include ex-Carlisle players Magnus Norman, Hallam Hope and Brennan Dickenson, while his former Blues colleague Paul Murray is academy manager.

United boss Paul Simpson, speaking on the club website, said of Garner's departure: “Joe has been fantastic for us. He came in and did the job we wanted and helped us achieve promotion as an important member of the squad last year.

“This is a chance for him to be closer to home and extend his career with an extra year on his contract which we all felt was the best thing to do.

“I’d like to thank Joe for everything he’s done and wish him all the best in the future.”  

Oldham boss Micky Mellon said Garner had turned down other offers in order to join the club who sit sixth in non-league's top tier.

"He was very keen to be a part of what we’re doing here,” Mellon told the Latics' website.

“He has fantastic leadership qualities and experience at winning things, he knows the qualities that are needed in the dressing room.”

Garner himself said: "The way the manager spoke about the team and club, how huge it is, was a major part in me coming here, in addition to already knowing Muzza [Paul Murray].

“I just want to get started, helping the team get more wins and hopefully get us out of this league."