Fulham’s first signing of the summer is the Birmingham right-back Stephen Kelly. The Republic of Ireland international will provide much-needed cover for John Pantsil as Moritz Volz is out of contract this summer and rumours continue to link Fredrik Stoor with a move away from Craven Cottage.

Kelly, who has signed a three-year contract, began his career at Tottenham, where he had a promising start after displacing his compatriot Stephen Carr in the side. He made 37 appearances at White Hart Lane before seeking further first-team football in loan spells at Southend, Watford and QPR.

He joined Birmingham in 2006 and was a regular in the side, playing every minute of their unsucessful fight against relegation in the 2007-2008 season. He made three Premier League appearances on loan at Stoke last season and is delighted to have fianlised his move to Fulham.

I’m happy that my transfer to Fulham has been finalised today and look forward to meeting with the rest of the team for pre-season preparations in July. I have spoken to the manager about plans for next season and I’m delighted to have joined a progressive club which has recently achieved its highest-ever top-flight finish

I am also looking forward to being part of a strong squad for next season’s Premier League and Europa League competitions.

Roy Hodgson was just as happy to conclude the deal.

I am delighted that Stephen has become our first signing of the summer transfer window. He  is a talented young full back with experience of playing in the Premier League as well as competing at international level

He will be a useful addition as we look to improve our squad ahead of the start of next season and I am hopeful that we will be able to announce further additions in the coming weeks.