Former Chelsea man trains with Blackpool

Former Chelsea and Barnsley man Jacob Mellis
Former Chelsea and Barnsley man Jacob Mellis
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Jacob Mellis is the latest player to attempt to impress Blackpool boss Jose Riga.

The 23-year-old, who has spent the past two seasons with Barnsley, is training with the Seasiders atSquires Gate after being recommended to boss Riga.

Mellis came through the youth system at Chelsea and made his only senior appearance in the Champions League against MŠK Žilina in 2010.

However, the Nottingham-born midfielder had his contract terminated after an incident involving a smoke grenade and signed a two-year-deal at Barnsley, where he has made 57 League appearances over the past two seasons.

He turned down the offer of a new contract after the Oakwell club’s relegation from the Championship and is now a free agent. Mellis was a mainstay of the Tykes’ midfield last season, playing 33 games.

He was among four triallists at Pool’s training base yesterday. Another was fellow midfielder Faris Haroun, who made nine Pool appearances last season after leaving Middlesbrough.

The triallists joined the Seasiders’ eight contracted players in a double session yesterday before being given the weekend off.

Boss Riga is spending the weekend at home in Belgium with his family but will continue to pursue transfer targets from there.

Thirty players have left Bloomfield Road this summer, but Pool have signed only two (Anthony McMahon and Sergei Zenjov) since Riga’s appointment over a month ago and the new season is only four weeks away.

Among the players whose Pool contracts have expired since last season, Angel Martinez is the only one to have opened talks over a new deal and he is waiting on a concrete offer.

A fellow midfielder highly unlikely to return to Pool is Isaiah Osbourne. The 26-year-old made 24 appearances for the Seasiders last season but has rejected the chance to discuss a new contract and is understood to be weighing up a number of offers before making his next move.

Young defender Harrison McGahey’s future remains up in the air, with Pool and Sheffield United so far unable to agree a compensation fee.