Chris Hughton has made Nottingham Forest central defender Greg Halford his first signing as manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, taking him on loan until the end of the season.
The versatile defender has initially signed on a short-term loan in order for him to be eligible for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against Brentford, ahead of the 12pm deadline.
Crucially he has also agreed a deal until the end of the season, with the paperwork due to be completed after the cup tie – although he won’t be eligible to face Forest in the match at the Amex on 7th February.
Hughton told seagulls.co.uk, “Greg has done well in his period of time here, so to bring someone back who already knows the club, the staff and the players so early in the window is something we are delighted about.
“He gives us good scope in the various positions he can play and of course he is a very experienced player and I am pleased to welcome him back.”
Halford started his career with Colchester United as a trainee and is known as a long-throw specialist, and after five years and more than 100 appearances for the Us, he was snapped up by Reading in January 2007 for an estimated £2.5million.
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He left that summer for fellow top-flight side Sunderland, making his debut on the opening day of the season during the Black Cats’ 2-2 draw with Birmingham City, but midway through the season the defender joined Championship Charlton on loan.
In the summer of 2008 the centre-half joined Sheffield United on a season-long loan and was part of the side that reached the play-off final. Halford scored the winning goal against Preston North End in the play-off semi-final second leg but the Blades would go on to lose the final 1-0 to Burnley at Wembley.
The defender did not return to his parent club Sunderland as newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers gave the centre-back a route back into the Premier League
The following season Halford joined Championship Portsmouth on loan before making the move permanent in June 2011.
Halford hit seven goals in the 2011/12 campaign that saw Pompey eventually relegated to League One, before heading to current club Nottingham Forest in July 2012 where he has spent the last two seasons.
A regular in his first season, also made 42 appearances during the 2013/14 season where the Reds narrowly missed out on the play-offs. Halford has not featured for Forest under Stuart Pearce and his contract at the City Ground ends this summer.