The Cobblers have signed Southend United midfielder Jack Bridge on a free transfer - but he won’t be able to play when the two sides go head-to-head at Sixfields on Saturday.
The two clubs have reached an agreement for the 22-year-old to complete his move to Town on an 18-month contract, but have made a deal he won’t be involved for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men against the Shrimpers.
Bridge has spent close to a month training with the Town squad, having struggled to break into the first team at Roots Hall under Phil Brown.
He is well known to Cobblers assistant boss Dean Austin, who worked with the player when he was on the coaching staff at Southend last season, and rates him highly.
Bridge is a Southend boy and worked his way through the ranks at the Essex club, making his first team debut in a 1-0 Sky Bet League One defeat to Bradford City in April, 2016.
A midfielder who can play either centrally or out wide, Bridge has made just two appearances for Southend this season, once as a late substitute in a 1-0 defeat at Shrewsbury in September, and once as a starter in a 1-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over Reading Under-21s in October.
In all, Bridge has played 11 first team games for Southend, and he has also had separate loan spells at non-League Chelmsford.
In his most recent spell there, he secored seven goals in 14 games, and he has also played on loan for Soham Town.
The player also spent time on trial at Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth last summer.
Bridge misses out on his Cobblers debut this weekend, but is available for selection for the trip to Bradford City on January 13.