St Johnstone seal summer deal for Richard Brittain

St Johnstone have agreed a pre-contract agreement with Ross County skipper Richard Brittain.

The 29-year-old midfielder will move to McDiarmid Park in the summer unless a deal can be reached to hasten the switch this month.

"He will bring good experience to the club and great quality from dead-ball situations," said St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas.

"He's also a fantastic leader and has shown that as captain of Ross County."

Brittain moved to Victoria Park from St Mirren in 2008, having started his career at Livingston.

And he has scored five goals in what is the Dingwall side's debut season in the Scottish Premier League.

St Johnstone have 17 players with contracts due to expire at the end of the season and Lomas is keen to avoid the the kind of upheaval the Perth club suffered last summer.

He was forced to bring in nine new faces after losing 19 squad members.

"We think it's a good acquisition," added Lomas. "The club has got a few players out of contract at the end of the season and we had to look at every situation.

"It was important that we were not caught out like last season, where we had a high turnover of players and had to bring a lot in very quickly."

In November, Lomas was given a suspended touchline ban for his comments on an incident involving Brittain.

The St Johnstone boss was punished by the Scottish FA after labelling the player a "cheat".

Striker Rowan Vine was sent off during a 2-1 win at Victoria Park and suspended for three matches for violent conduct after clashing with Brittain.

And Lomas was quoted saying: "Brittain's reaction was an absolute scandal.

"He is a very good player but for him to go down like that to try to get a player sent off? He should be disgusted with himself.

"He is meant to be a competitive midfield enforcer but he should be embarrassed with what he did. For me it's cheating."