Chester FC joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have raided their former club Salford City once again to land striker Anthony Dudley and defender Danny Livesey on a season-long loan deal.
The Blues bosses had been tracking the pair for much of the summer and a deal had looked unlikely last week with Chester and the Ammies some way apart when attempting to broker a deal.
But both clubs came to an agreement on Thursday and the duo will join Chester ahead of the new National League North season on August 4 and could make their Blues debuts in Saturday's final pre-season friendly against Everton under-23s.
Mobile frontman Dudley, 21, netted 13 times for Salford in all competitions last season to end as their second top scorer in a campaign that saw them claim promotion to the National League under Johnson and Morley.
Manchester-born Dudley began his career at Bury in 2013 and played nine times for the club during their time in both League One and League Two, spending successful loan spells at Guiseley and Macclesfield Town during his time with the Shakers before making a permanent move to Salford last summer under the current Chester managers.
He signed a two-year deal at Salford last summer but their recruitment ahead of their debut National League campaign, where they have added Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney to their ranks, has seen Dudley fall down the pecking order under new manager Graham Alexander.
Another familiar face to both Johnson and Morley is 33-year-old centre back Livesey.
A man with vast Football League experience, Livesey made over 300 appearances in all competitions for Carlisle United in a 10-year spell at Brunton Park having began his career in the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers in 2002. He has also taken in loan spells with Notts County, Rochdale, Blackpool and Wrexham.
He made over 120 appearances for Barrow between 2014 and 2017 in the National League and came close to joining Chester last summer when former manager Jon McCarthy tried to sign him before Livesey opted to make the switch to work under Johnson and Morley at the Peninsula Stadium, where he played alongside fellow new recruit Simon Grand. The duo played together at both Carlisle and Barrow.
The past two friendlies against Bury and Morecambe have seen Chester adopt three at the back, with Steve Howson, Jon Moran and Grand impressing.
But with the need for depth and competition for places at centre back, Johnson and Morley have identified Livesey as a key component in their defence and a player with the requisite experience at National League level.
The Chester managers will now turn their attention to their trialists and make a decision on who, if any, gets a permanent deal.
There is little wriggle room left in the budget but there could be another chance for former Oldham Athletic and Oxford United striker Deane Smalley, 29, to stake a claim for a place in the squad.