Notts County offer Marlon Harewood two-year contract

Marlon Harewood

Harewood scored 55 goals for the Magpies' local-rivals Nottingham Forest

Notts County have offered Marlon Harewood a two-year contract and signed defender Julian Kelly and utility man Jude Stirling on free transfers.

The former Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Aston Villa striker, 31, was released by relegated Blackpool.

Magpies boss Martin Allen said: "I know he has a lot of options and several at Championship level, but if you don't ask you don't get."

Kelly, 21, arrives from Reading, while Stirling, 28, had been at MK Dons.

Stirling played under Allen at both MK Dons and Barnet and the Notts boss was attracted by his versatility.

"Jude can play in an number of positions including left-back, right-back, centre-back, central midfield or holding midfield," said Allen.

"He has been brought here as a squad player. He's great in the dressing room with all of the players.

"He's very dangerous in the final third and he's very helpful in our own defensive third. He's a good player and a good man to have in our squad."

Kelly, who spent part of last season on loan at Lincoln, is an attack-minded right-back but can also play at left-back and on either wing.

But it is the move for Harewood that will excite Notts fans the most.

"I can confirm after the non-stop rumours that I met Marlon Harewood with the chairman at Meadow Lane for a couple of hours yesterday [Wednesday]," explained Allen.

"I don't normally pass comment on all this speculation but I felt it was only right on this occasion."

Harewood began his career with local rivals Nottingham Forest and became a fans' favourite, scoring 55 goals, before a £500,000 move to West Ham.

After four years at Upton Park, he moved back to the Midlands to Aston Villa in a £4m deal but struggled to make an impact scoring five league goals in one start and 28 substitute appearances.

Harewood had loan spells with Wolves and Newcastle in 2009, before moving to Blackpool in August 2010.

The striker played 10 games on-loan for Barnsley earlier this year, scoring four times.