Balancing act for Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson in summer transfer window

Simon Grayson is hoping to act quickly in the transfer window once Fleetwood Town’s season is over.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 8:00 am
Midfielder Akiel Raffie is the latest Fleetwood Town academy player to sign a professional contract this week Picture: FTFC

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The Cod Army’s head coach revealed the club are quite far down the line with their recruitment process and will look to press on as soon as possible.

First for Fleetwood however, are the final two League One matches against MK Dons at Highbury tomorrow and at Ipswich Town a week on Sunday.

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Grayson wants to act fast to secure his transfer targets but is also conscious that moving too quickly could mean missing out on talent that becomes available later in the window.

He said: “We’ll try to get our business done as early as we can, but you’ve also got to be careful that you don’t fill all your slots because someone may come up and you’re left thinking, ‘I wish I’d held on a little bit longer’.

“A player may not be available in May and then all of a sudden he’s surplus to requirements. We have that balancing act. By the time you come back for pre-season you want a large part of your squad ready, so you can work with them.

“The process has been being going on for months. You have a list of all the out-of- contract players – you watch players, you speak to agents.

“I’ve found that my phone has been more popular in this last month or so than when I was out of work. I remind the agents about that!

“Not that I wanted them checking in on me every day when I was out of work, but if they have good players for me I don’t have a problem answering the phone.”

It’s a constantly changing market but the 51-year-old hopes his experience in the game will work in his favour as he looks for signings.

He explained: “It changes quite regularly, on a daily basis. A player might become available when they thought they were going to be kept by a club. That’s when calls from agents become valuable.

“If the good contacts I’ve built up over the years mean I’m getting the heads up ahead of other clubs for a certain player, then so be it.

“I’ve also been speaking to directors of football or chief executives to see what they’re thinking of doing with players to get a heads up before other clubs as well.”

Each day this week Fleetwood have announced that a youth team player has signed a professional contract.

The latest is midfielder Akiel Raffie, who has agreed a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months. The 18-year-old made his senior debut in the EFL Trophy win over Aston Villa Under-21 last October.

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