Oxford United look to be in pole position to sign Chesterfield’s Drew Talbot, writes Phil Tooley.
Dean Saunders, who tried to sign Talbot when he was manager of Doncaster Rovers, is a fan of the man who can play in either full-back berth, in any midfield position or as a striker.
But it’s believed the offer made by Chesterfield, which pre-dates Saunders’ appointment, is somewhat lower than his previous deal, reflecting the time the Barnsley born player, aged 28, has missed through injury in recent times. He was out for the best part of a year with a groin and stomach problem.
His home town club is also thought to be keeping an eye on Talbot’s situation making it more likely that the player’s six and a half year spell as a Spireite will be coming to an end.
Chesterfield are bracing themselves for further bids for another play anywhere man, Sam Clucas. Having turned down two bids, one from Wigan Athletic, the Latics and Reading are expected to increase their offers for the man signed last August from neighbours Mansfield Town.
Saunders is also battling to keep Jimmy Ryan and Gary Roberts with former boss Paul Cook interested in both.
Meanwhile, three members of the Chesterfield backroom team have left as Saunders overhauls the staff he inherited from Paul Cook.
Long-serving fitness coach Shane Nicholson has departed along with first-team coach Kevin Lynch and goalkeeper coach Eric Nixon.
Spireites chief executive Chris Turner said: “I would like to thank Shane, Kevin and Eric for their service. Shane in particular has made a valuable contribution as his association with the club goes back to 1998. He has worked hard to develop the fitness of the players he has worked with.
“As Dean Saunders wants to assemble his own backroom team changes have had to be made.”
It is expected that Saunders’ former Doncaster colleague Mal Purchase will fill Nicholson’s role. He has recently been working in Singapore.