DARLINGTON today intend to reveal their next summer signing to replace Josh Heaton, who last night joined St Mirren.

Just seven months after he became Tommy Wright’s first signing, the 21-year-old has moved to Scotland in a deal believed to be worth £75,000 plus add-ons.

The 6ft 6in defender travelled north of the border yesterday to undergo a medical and finalise his move, and said last night: “I would like to thank everyone at Darlington for their support last season.

“The staff, players and fans all welcomed me and it was great all season, a club I’ve only got good things to say about.

“Thank you and good luck for next season.”

It represents a good move for all parties. While Quakers have made a huge profit on a player they brought in from Ramsbottom United following trial last summer, cut short due to injury, Heaton has made the step up to the Scottish Premiership.

Wright said: “Josh has been absolutely superb for us since he joined last year. He’s been a revelation, his ability has been without question and his determination to go to a higher level of football has been clear for all to see.

“I believe that he has only been playing at 60 per cent of his ability while he’s been with us, and he’ll step up a notch with St Mirren.

“It’s a very good move both for him and this football club – we wouldn’t be doing our job if we held the player back. As a club, we’re really proud to have had an input on his career.

“Without a doubt, we’re going to miss him.”

Several clubs were interested in the former Preston North End youngster, including Middlesbrough.

Earlier this month the 21-year-old trained with the V9 Academy – a showcase for the best young talent in non-league – where St Mirren boss Alan Stubbs is among the coaches.

Stubbs’ club had a bid accepted late on Tuesday, allowing Heaton to discuss personal terms with the Paisley club.

He becomes the 12th player to leave Darlington this summer, but Wright already has a replacement lined up.

The new signing will be Quakers’ fifth of the summer and comes just before the new-look squad has its first pre-season training session tomorrow.