Watford have announced their first summer signing but it is not Carlisle United’s Tom Aldred as expected - but Walsall goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin.

The Hornets have signed the 6ft 5 shotstopper on a two-year deal and the club have the option of a third year.

Gilmartin, who is 23 years old, rejected Walsall’s offer of a contract extension in favour of signing for the Hornets.

The Sadlers are due compensation because Gilmartin is under 24 years of age but the Hornets have already agreed an undisclosed fee with the club.

Gilmartin joined Walsall in the summer of 2005 after a successful trial and he has been Clayton Ince’s understudy for most of that time.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has made 39 appearances for the League One side and also spent the first half of the 2007 season on loan at non-league Hednesford Town.

Gilmartin will be joined at Vicarage Road by Carlisle centre back Aldred, who has finalised his move to Watford this morning and the transfer should be announced this afternoon.