Crystal Palace have boosted their defensive options for next season by signing Aaron Martin on a season-long loan from Southampton.

The 22-year-old central defender made 17 appearances for the Saints last season and will replace Anthony Gardner, who is rumoured to have signed for Sheffield Wednesday.

He is manager Dougie Freedman's second signing of the summer following the arrival of right back Joel Ward from Portsmouth.

"Dougie seemed to sell the club so well and he seems a really nice person," Martin told Palace's official website.

"From what he has already done at Palace, he seems to be a great manager to work and play for.

"What sold the club to me was that he was such a nice person and he sounded so genuine in everything he said to me."

Freedman added: "Aaron is a player who I have watched since his non-league days and he has done very well since his move to Southampton.

"He is a youngster who is a talented, hard-working centre half who is hungry for success and I see him playing a major role in our continued progress next season."