BLACKPOOL will step up negotiations with Roman Bednar now Ian Holloway is back in town.
The Pool manager has returned from a short break in Italy and is holding talks with chairman Karl Oyston this week about a range of issues, from his own future to which players he can sign this summer.
Striker Bednar impressed Holloway during his six-month stay and is one of the manager’s immediate targets.
Despite an injury-hit second half of the campaign, knee ligament damage restricting him to just three starts, Bednar is the kind of striker Holloway wants in his squad.
The manager spent last summer trying to land Newcastle frontman Nile Ranger. But that deal never happened, which meant the Seasiders started the season without a physical down-the-middle striker in his squad.
Holloway didn’t succeed in bringing that kind of forward in until January, when he landed Bednar from West Brom.
If the boss can get a deal for the 29-year-old tied up early, he can switch his attention to strengthening other areas of the squad.
Chairman Karl Oyston has said the club will be looking to add ‘five or six’ players ahead of next season. The feeling within the club is that the team doesn’t need major surgery.
The squad in place is strong and all the key players remain under contract.
The biggest concern for manager and chairman is making sure Tom Ince and Matt Phillips don’t depart.
Swansea, Reading, Wigan and Aston Villa are all reported to be considering £2.5m bids for 21-year-old Phillips.
Ince too has his admirers, Southampton chief among them, and his stock rose further with his Wembley goal in the play-off final.
However, both players are under contract for another year, with a further 12-month option on top of that.