BLACKPOOL are poised to offer David Vaughan a lucrative deal in a last-ditch attempt to persuade the midfielder to stay at Bloomfield Road.
Reports that Vaughan has already signed a three-year contract at Sunderland are wide of the mark.
The Welshman has yet to decide where his future lies, and that’s why the Seasiders are hopeful that one last effort could change Vaughan’s mind.
The Gazette understands an improved offer will be put on the table within days.
Even so, Pool know they face an uphill battle to keep Vaughan.
He has plenty of options, with Glasgow Rangers, West Brom and Everton all monitoring the situation, along with Sunderland, and Stoke the latest club to be linked with the 28-year-old.
All those clubs can offer top-flight football and Vaughan is unlikely to want to drop back down to the Championship whatever Pool offer.
Speaking to The Gazette this week, when he lifted three player of the year prizes at the club’s awards night, Vaughan said: “These last two years at Bloomfield Road have been great and probably the best years of my career, so hopefully wherever I may be next year – if it’s Blackpool or not – I can keep my form going.
“I don’t know what the future holds just yet but if I do go somewhere else I will take away nothing but happy memories.”
Pool will also make renewed attempts to persuade left-back Stephen Crainey to stay at Bloomfield Road.
The Scot is also a free agent but is settled with his family on the Fylde coast and may be tempted to sign a new deal if the Seasiders can make a suitable offer.
Of the out-of-contract players, Matt Gilks seems the least likeliest to stay. The keeper has been outspoken in criticising the way the club is run and seems to have made up his mind that his future lies elsewhere.
David Carney and Malaury Martin are the biggest surprises on the Seasiders released list.
The club officially announced yesterday which players won’t be offered new contracts.
Most were already known, with Richard Kingson, Paul Rachubka, Marlon Harewood and Rob Edwards among the 11 players released.
The departure of the Australian left-back Carney, signed from FC Twente last September and unfortunate to suffer a season-ending shoulder injury just when it seemed he might break into the first-choice side, was not expected.
Carney talked last week about his hopes for next season and said he was looking forward to helping Pool try to bounce back.
Martin’s signing may go down as one of the worst in the club’s history.
The Frenchman was brought in last summer but required knee surgery before he had even played a game.
He returned for the last few weeks of the campaign and played in the reserves but manager Ian Holloway has deemed him not good enough.