Sheffield Tigers are keen to tie up Ricky Wells

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DAVID Hoggart has revealed how the deal to bring Ricky Wells back to Owlerton is taking more time than expected.

Wells has been racing in Australia where he was due to meet up with Tigers owner Neil Machin – but they missed each other. Now he’s returned home to California and is talking to Owlerton co-promoter David Hoggart.

And legendary former Tigers rider Sam Ermolenko is also involved in helping negotiations between the parties from his Derbyshire base.

Said Hoggart: “I hope something will happen this week. Ricky is still very much in our plans and I remain hopeful we can reach an agreement. We are keeping a very close eye on costs and the deal has to be right for both Ricky and ourselves. He’s a good lad and it would be good to have the opportunity to have him back in the side.

“The fact that he is so far away isn’t helping when it comes to communicating, there is the time difference to factor in and I hope a couple more conversations between us will help finalise things.

“Sam is a regular visitor to Sheffield and he looks after Ricky a lot with his machinery and other aspects of his racing. Sam understand the difficult economic times the sport is facing and hopefully we can all agree before Christmas.”

Hoggart has been left to build the team in the absence of Machin and he is due to talk to Richard Hall soon. He doesn’t anticipate any problems with the Yorkshire rider.