Dundalk FC will be without new signing Stefan Colovic for Friday’s league opener against Derry City as he awaits a work permit to join the SSE Airtricity League champions.

The Lilywhites announced the acquisition of the Serbian winger from Proleter Novi Sad last week with the 25-year-old having agreed a two year deal at Oriel Park, with the club having an option of a third.

The former Atletico Madrid trainee, who has also played for Red Star and Partizan Belgrade, meets the criteria for a work permit to play in Ireland but there is no exact time frame for when his paperwork will be processed.

It is understood that Colovic – who scored 16 goals and 12 assists in his 87 games for Proleter Novi Sad – turned down interest from South Korea and elsewhere in Europe to join Dundalk.

Colovic is described as a speedy, left-footed right winger who can also play as a split-striker or anywhere across the front three.

He’s fluent in three languages, including English and Spanish and becomes Dundalk’s fifth close-season signing, after deals were completed to bring Cammy Smith on loan from Dundee United, Darragh Leahy from Bohemians, Will Patching from Notts County and Greg Sloggett from Derry City.

Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth said he did not wish to speak too much about his new recruit until he had arrived at Oriel Park.

He said: “He’s officially signed but we’re just waiting on the paper work for his work permit to go through.

“It shouldn’t be an issue but unfortunately at this stage we don’t know how long it will be.”

Colovic aside, John Mountney is the only other player ruled out of Friday’s game against Derry City with an ankle problem.

“We’ve allowed John more time to clean up an issue with his ankle that he had at the back end of last season but beyond that everyone should be okay for Friday,” said Perth.