Cobblers boss Keith Curle admits he is 'sorry' to lose Aaron Pierre following the central defender's sale to Sky Bet League One outfit Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee.
But he has also reassured Town supporters that he already has 'a number of targets in mind' to replace the 26-year-old, who ended last season as Cobblers skipper and also won the club's supporters' player of the year award.
Curle did not want to see Pierre leave the club, but he said it was clear the player wanted to play at a higher level than league two, and that the deal is a good one for the club.
"We wish Aaron well and we are sorry to see him go, but we understand his decision and always have to look at the overall picture," said Curle.
"When the interest came in and we began discussions with Aaron and his agent, he indicated a desire to play in a higher division, and once an appropriate fee was finally agreed we all felt the timing was right."
Pierre's departure means Town's squad is now light on central defenders.
With Ash Taylor and Pierre now departed, Jordan Turnbull and teenagers Jay Williams and Ruyan Hughes the only central defenders on the books, although recent signings Alan McCormack, Joe Martin and Reece Hall-Johnson can all play there if required.
But Curle says a replacement for Pierre will be brought in.
"Aaron did well for us last season, I enjoyed working with him and we wish him well, but we do have a number of targets in mind to replace him and everyone is working behind the scenes to make that happen," he said.
"I am confident we are on course to start the new season with a balanced and improved squad.”