Striker hunt priority with Mackail-Smith in sights

Craig Mackail-Smith

Craig Mackail-Smith

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Neil McDonald has made strikers his top priority after seeing a bid turned down for Morecambe’s Jack Redshaw.

Blackpool’s new boss has struggled to land his targets so far since replacing Lee Clark as boss, starting pre-season with just 14 available players.

The Seasiders have made a number of offers for forward players, including talks with former Brighton man Craig Mackail-Smith.

The Scottish international is available on a free transfer after leaving the Seagulls at the end of the last season and has a good reputation in the lower league.

It’s understood talks have taken place with the 31-year-old but the two parties remain far apart in terms of wage demands, he’s also recently been in talks with Luton Town.

Mackail-Smith joined Brighton for a reported £2.5m in 2011 and scored three goals in 35 outings last season, although he hasn’t found the net since September, a spell which included a three-game stint at League One side Peterborough United.

As for Morecambe’s Redshaw, Pool are believed to have tabled an offer of £150,000 for the forward who fired 12 goals for the Shrimps in League Two last season.

The 24-year-old, who came through the youth system at Manchester City, has been the subject of recent interest from Rotherham and Peterborough among others after starring for The Shrimps since joining from Altrincham in January 2012.

A Morecambe FC statement said: “The club can confirm that Karl Oyston spoke to (Morecambe chairman) Peter McGuigan regarding a transfer fee for Jack Redshaw.

“Agreement couldn’t be made therefore Jack Redshaw remains a Morecambe FC player and we’re comfortable that he will start the season with Jim Bentley’s side.”

The Gazette understands Pool’s £150,000 bid was knocked-back immediately by the Lancashire club, who are holding out for a figure much closer to the player’s £250,000 release clause.

Blackpool are desperately short of fire power after the departures of Gary Madine, Nathan Delfouneso, Dom Telford and Tom Barkhuize, who joined the Shrimps earlier in the summer.

Madine signed a two-year deal with Bolton this week, Telford is expected to confirm his move to Stoke shortly, Barkhuizen joined Morecambe while ex Aston Villa man Delfouneso remains without a club at present.

As it stands the Seasiders have just one confirmed striker on their books, new boy Mark Cullen who joined from Luton on Tuesday.