Blackpool close-in on loan deals

THE Seasiders are on course to add two strikers to the capture of Middlesbrough winger Graeme Owens ahead of the Championship clash with Birmingham.

But the new frontmen won't be Ade Akinbiyi or James Scowcroft.

The Gazette can reveal that Pool have made inquires about both frontmen but neither is available on loan.

Both Burnley and Crystal Palace want substantial fees for the strikers and the players themselves are on big money – too much for Pool's wage structure to accommodate.

But the good news for fans is that Tony Parkes and Steve Thompson are making progress in their urgent quest to rebuild a squad decimated by the recent exodus of loan players.

The pair have been given a kitty by chairman Karl Oyston and told to get players in.

Most of the new arrivals this month will be loans and the club will kickstart their buying spree today by snapping up 20-year-old wideman Owens.

>> Pool face wait for striker

The player has yet to agree terms and undergo a medical but the club are confident a deal will be struck.

"Reports that Greame has already signed are a bit premature," said Seasiders secretary Matt Williams.

"But we are in talks with him, Middlesbrough and his representative and although we're disappointed that the news has got out ahead of the deal actually being done, we're very hopeful of it being completed by the end of the day."

A member of Boro's FA Youth Cup winning side at the age of 15 in 2004, Owens can play on either flank.

He has made just one appearance for the Premier League club – coming off the bench in a Carling Cup tie – but impressed during a short loan spell at Chesterfield last year.

Caretaker boss Parkes will be delighted to make his first signing and he is confident that there will be more new blood before the clash against Birmingham.

He is understood to have all but wrapped up a deal for an unnamed striker, while another frontman could also be persuaded to join before Saturday. Both will be loan deals.

There is also encouraging news coming from West Ham, with Kyel Reid being given the go ahead to rejoin the Seasiders.

But it depends on the player himself, with Pool revealing the left winger should have been in the squad for the FA Cup defeat at Torquay.

"We'd agreed with West Ham to extend it for another month. We agreed that on December 29 and they gave him permission to play in the Cup," explained Williams.

"But the player wanted to go back and speak to Gianfranco Zola and find out about his future at West Ham because he is out of contract there at the end of the season.

"We are still keen on Kyel. We have spoken to his agent and to West Ham to find out where things are going and we are hopeful that he will be one player, of the loan players, that we can get back."

The other loan man who may possibly return is Adam Hammill.

It appears a long shot but Williams insisted that it shouldn't be ruled out, adding: "We have spoken to Liverpool and they are not letting anyone out for 10 days or so.

"They are assessing all the players they've got but something might possibly happen after that period. We'll continue to monitor the situation."

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