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MANAGER: I've been given the green light

5 January 2017

Keith Curle on early transfer window developments

Manager Keith Curle revealed at his Thursday morning press conference that he’ll be making a trip to watch Middlesbrough in action tonight as work on adding to the squad during the January transfer window continues.

“I’m going to the Middlesbrough game to look at a potential target,” he said. “We’re getting close with some of our targets but first and foremost I’m having conversations today with the five players I’m looking to keep here [Gillespie, Grainger, Joyce, Kennedy and Raynes].

“I’m not looking to bring anyone else into the building until I’ve got agreements in principle with those players so that I know they’re happy to continue working with us here. I think I have to look after my changing room because it’s a very strong and unified place, so I’m hoping to hear a yes or a no this afternoon.

“The players have every right to say no if they don’t see their long term future as being here. The contracts they’re being offered are incentivised whereby if they’re playing well and the club is doing well they’re earning money, because we don’t mind paying wages if we’re all enjoying a bit of success.

“Russell Penn and David Atkinson are two players I also need to speak to today. “Once I’ve had those conversations with all those players they’ll fully understand where I’m at and where we’re at, and where we want it all to go.”

On the search for new faces to add to the dressing room, he said: “If new players do come in it could mean we have other players who aren’t then getting the game time their careers deserve.

“If I don’t see a direct line for some players to play a major role then it might be time for them to go and play elsewhere. Having said that, with the players we’ve assembled we’re in a position where nobody needs to get forced out of the door. We’re happy with the players we’ve got and every single one of them is here on merit.”

When asked if anything was imminent, he said: “We’ve got to the stage where the chief executives of the football clubs are talking and trying to finalise the smaller details. Conversations have been had with the managers at the clubs and we’ve been given permission to speak to the players, so that’s where we’re at with it.

“This is the first transfer window where I’m dealing directly with Nigel Clibbens and we have good lines of communication so that we know where we’re going and how we’re attacking each individual target.

“We’re both comfortable that we’re in a position where we don’t have to wait for somebody to go out before we can bring somebody else in. I’ve been given the green light, and if I can persuade a player that this is where his future lies, then I can bring one in straight away. There’ll be one to follow after that, if we can get that done as well.

“If we can get something done today, excellent. We might not be able to sign somebody on a permanent deal, so we may have to sign a loan deal which turns into a permanent deal next week. However, I’m still very happy with what we’ve got for Saturday.”

One target revealed recently was Cardiff striker Rhys Healey, who returned to his parent club from a loan spell at Newport earlier this week.

“Rhys is now back at Cardiff and I’ve spoken to Neil [Warnock] three times this morning – I’m bugging the life out of him!” he confirmed. “Neil has got him back in so he can have a closer look at him, then a decision will be made.

“Whatever decision is made it will be made for the betterment of Neil, Cardiff and the player. We’ve posted our interest, he’s aware of our interest, and we can’t do any more than that.”

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