Summer rumours can often take a life of their own, but director of football David Holdsworth confirmed again this week that reports linking youngsters Liam McCarron and Jarrad Branthwaite with bids from clubs from higher levels are correct, with channels still open on offers for both players.
“When I first came to the club and having spoken to the board and sponsors about what we were trying to build, I highlighted the fact that we must recognise that our youth department is key in terms of bringing through good young players,” he said.
“Liam was somebody I recognised sharply as being a young man we needed to have under contract. When we gave him a three-year contract it was with the aim of making sure this club was looked after in terms of compensation if a big club also recognised his potential.”
“How do we look at that then?” he added. “Do we say we’re going to keep hold of him for the three years and he can’t go anywhere? We’d be foolish to do that.
“But we’re also clever enough to know that if a club does come through the door then they have to pay the amount we feel he’s worth.
“Things are in place already to look after us if he goes to the Championship, Premier League, or beyond, which make sure we won’t lose out on any deal, and it also protects our football club.”
“Jarrad is another who has a great future,” he continued. “I’ve had a lot of calls about Jarrad because he’s potentially a very good player.
“McCarron has shown by getting on the pitch that he has the ability, but he’s still learning, and I’m sure Jarrad will be the same.”
On whether it’s now a case of accepting that both players will leave, he commented: “We don’t need to push anybody out of the door, we don’t have to accept any bid, and that’s because we’re stable.
“That’s the good thing about this football club. Yes, it would be nice to get a large, large sum of money, but it’s my job to make sure we’re diligent and we don’t give people away.
“So, yes, there are clubs who want these lads, but they’re going to have to pay for them. If not, we will be happy and proud to have them here as Carlisle players.
“The thing is that they’ve all got agents now, so I’ve spoken to them as well, and I’ve been very clear that Carlisle comes first.”
“To clarify, I’ve had bids from a Championship club and talks with a Premier League club regarding Liam, and that’s ongoing,” he concluded. “We’ll always look after the player, and I’m here to talk to if he starts to feel unsettled, but it also comes down to the advice he gets from his representatives and from his family through what is an interesting time for him.”
Meanwhile with three bids having been tabled for Rotherham forward Jerry Yates since the end of the season, as the Blues pushed hard to bring him back to Brunton Park, the director of football revealed that it looks like a potential deal – loan or permanent – is looking less likely at this moment in time.
“We’d loved to have brought one or two of the good loan players back, but we won’t,” he said. “Obviously Ashley Nadesan has gone to Crawley, which is good for him because it’s where he wanted to be.
“If I’m honest, I don’t think Jerry will come back. We’ve made three bids for him, but it looks like he’ll go elsewhere. That’s fine, at least we know. We did hold on until the last minute for Jerry, but it wasn’t to be.
“I think we all wanted Jerry to come back here because he’s a good player. This happens in football and there are other good players out there. It can be frustrating, but he’s not the only centre forward out there.
“If he ever wants to come back to Carlisle, and it suits us, then we’ll do our best to bring him here. He’s a good lad and we wish him well, wherever he goes.”