MICHAEL Appleton insists speculation surrounding the future of Tom Ince won’t have an effect on his form.
The Blackpool manager has held one-one-one talks with the winger, who is being linked with a January move to the Premier League.
Manchester United, Spurs and most recently Liverpool are all rumoured to be lining up £7m moves in the New Year transfer window.
The 20-year-old has been in sensational form for Blackpool this season, firing 11 goals in 18 appearances.
And all the talk surrounding his prized asset comes and no shock to Appleton.
The Pool boss said: “There will always be speculation about Tom, with the form he’s in. If he continues to score and to play well, then I’m sure there will be plenty of people wanting to sign him in January.
“We just want him to continue to play well for us. When January comes along, we’ll take it as it is. We’ll weigh up what’s best for Thomas and for Blackpool.”
Ince is without doubt one of the foremost talents outside the Premier League, his form rewarded with regular selection for England U21s.
And Appleton revealed he has spoken to the winger about the speculation – to make sure he keeps his mind performing well for the Seasiders.
“I like to speak to the players and make sure their frame of mind is right,” said Appleton.
“I sat down for a chat with Tom after training yesterday. I just wanted to know where he was in his head.
“I wanted to check he was in the right place and still concentrating on the job ahead. I’m pleased to say he seems fine.
“I like talking to the players and seeing where they are. If there are any problems, we can then iron them out.
“We are way off having to worry about the future of our players just yet.
“Until anyone comes in with a hard cash offer, then we’ll leave it to the papers. When that does happen, we’ll deal with it. I’m sure there will be many offers, from what I’m hearing.”
Appleton’s predecessor Ian Holloway was often asked about Ince’s future and held talks with the player’s father, former England midfielder Paul.
Holloway always insisted Ince snr wanted his son to stay at Bloomfield Road for the whole of this season to gain valuable first-team experience.
And while Appleton says he’s more concerned with the player’s opinion, he does plan to speak to Ince’s dad at some point.
“I’ve not spoken to Paul about his son yet,” Appleton said. “I’m sure I will but my concern at the moment is between myself and Thomas.
“I played with Paul and know him quite well, but I like to speak to the lad himself.
“At the end of the day, he will have to make the decision.
“I like to know what’s going on in his head rather than anyone else’s.
“He’s an intelligent lad. He’s very mature and I think he’s handled everything well.”