Romanian international and young Slovenian striker join Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion have signed Romanian international Tudor-Cristian Baluta and Slovenian striker Jan Mlakar on long-term deals.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 5:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 8:09 pm
The Amex. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The duo have both signed three-and-a-half year contracts and will be loaned back out for the rest of the season.

Midfielder Baluta, 19, has joined from Romanian top-flight side FC Viitorul Constanta on undisclosed terms and will spend the rest of the season back on loan at Viitorul.

He made his Romania international debut in October and has played six times for the under-19 team.

Mlakar, 20, has signed on undisclosed terms from NK Maribor and will go back to the Slovenian top-tier club on loan until the end of the season. He has scored ten goals in 20 appearances for Maribor this season.

He has played for Slovenia at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 level.

On Baluta, Albion’s pathway development manager David Weir said: “He is another signing who we’ve identified as being someone we can develop for the future.

“He’s a versatile player who can play both in central midfield and as part of a defence, and has good experience in his country’s top division so far this season.

“He will spend the rest of this season back at FC Viitorul to continue his development and we will monitor his progress closely between now and the end of the campaign.”

Talking about Mlakar, Weir said: "He’s shown potential during his time playing senior football across Europe, and he’s a great long-term addition to our club.

“Jan has a good amount of experience for a young player, and we feel it’s beneficial for his development to return to Maribor for the remainder of the season.

“He’ll continue to play first-team football at a high standard, and we’ll keep track of his progress through until the end of the season.”