O’Hara Pool future in doubt as talks stall

Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara

Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara

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Blackpool face a fight to keep Jamie O’Hara after talks over a new contract stalled.

The midfielder has been one of Pool’s top performers over the past two months, but O’Hara’s short-term deal ended after Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Aston Villa.

Talks have been ongoing for over a week but a deal to keep him for the rest of the season is still not in place.

Outside interest in the 28-year-old is growing, with three rival Championship clubs believed to have opened talks with the former Wolves and Tottenham player.

O’Hara’s departure would be a huge blow for Pool manager Lee Clark, who has built the side around him during his eight games for the club.

And there’s no doubt the Pool boss wants to keep O’Hara at Bloomfield Road.

Clark said: “Jamie has been a terrific player for us. He hit the ground running and his levels of consistency have been really high.

“He’s a player I want to keep without a shadow of a doubt. I’m confident we can. I know Jamie wants to stay here.

“He’s enjoying his football after a tough time before he came here (O’Hara had been without a club since his summer release by Wolves). He’s always had the talent and I think he’s enjoying himself.”

Pool are also in talks with defender Darren O’Dea, who is in the same situation.

He has started Pool’s last three games and impressed in the heart of defence at Villa, but the 27-year-old has been out of contract since.

It’s believed a deal is close, with the player himself discussing this Saturday’s vital game against Millwall on Twitter.

Clark confirmed: “O’Dea’s contract has come to an end and we are in talks as we speak. We are hopeful a deal can be done.”

The Pool boss has been boosted by the return of Gary MacKenzie and Jose Miguel Cubero to training after long-term injuries, though the duo could be a couple of weeks away from first-team action.