Irish Premiership: Bannsiders sign Aaron Burns from Linfield

Aaron Burns celebrates scoring
Aaron Burns celebrates scoring one of his 91 goals for the Windsor Park club

Premiership title challengers Coleraine have signed midfielder Aaron Burns from champions Linfield on a two-and-a-half year contract.

The Blues made the 25-year-old available to other clubs at the start of the January transfer window.

Burns is unavailable for Coleraine's Premiership game against Linfield on Tuesday because of a calf injury.

Coleraine have also agreed a deal to keep Martin Smith at the club until the end of the season.

The former Kilmarnock midfielder joined the Bannsiders on a short-term contract in October as cover after a number of injuries.

Smith, who also had spells with Gateshead and Carlisle United, extends his stay following impressive displays for Oran Kearney's team.

Burns, who has just returned to training after his calf injury, spent 10 years at Windsor Park and scored 91 goals in 273 appearances.

The attacking midfielder rejected a move to Crawley Town in League Two in favour of a switch to Coleraine, who are just a point behind league leaders Crusaders ahead of the visit of Linfield to the Showgrounds.