United boss Keith Curle confirmed this week that he had missed out on former-Blackburn, Northampton and Chesterfield striker Marc Richards having spoken to the experienced forward about a potential move to Cumbria.
Richards, 35, signed for Swindon this week, having had interest from United and fellow League Two outfit Coventry City.
“Marc was a player I had spoken to, but I got a phone call off him on Monday morning to tell me he had decided to go to Swindon,” he revealed. “It was ourselves, Swindon and Coventry who were looking at him.
“I was given permission to speak to him and had good conversations with him on three or four occasions. I sold him the dream, as you do, so it was disappointing to get that phone call on Monday.
“He conducted himself very well, he gave me his reasons and explanations as to why he thought Swindon was the right move for him, so I wish him well.”
On the transfer budget he has at his disposal, now that United’s cup interests have drawn to a close, he said: “Managers in League One and League Two will always tell you there isn’t enough money, because everyone is striving to improve.
“If the remit was to stay in the division, we’ve got more money than we need, but we want to be looking at the top seven. With the recruitment process we’ve been going through, with the players we’ve identified, two of them have chosen other options.
“The players spoke to myself, but they’ve decided to join other League Two teams. That shows we’re looking in the right place, and we’ll now go to the next option which is available.”
“It isn’t all about throwing extra money at players,” he commented. “I’ve got a price in my mind which I think is value for money. I try and bring quality in and pay a fair price for that quality.
“I don’t need to be creative, it isn’t a case of needing to get players out before anybody can come in. There is a little bit of headroom in the budget, which may increase with Tuesday’s gate money.
“Just because there’s a little bit more money, that doesn’t mean I’m going to throw it at individuals. I’m not going to bring players in for the sake of it. They’ve got to be what I need in areas I think we can improve.”
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