Agent fees delayed Barnett deal

Crawley Town's Tyrone Barnett
Crawley Town's Tyrone Barnett
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BLACKPOOL are adamant they couldn’t have done any more to sign one of the most sought-after goalscorers in the lower leagues.

The Seasiders proved they are prepared to splash out by offering £900,000 to Crawley for frontman Tyrone Barnett, who has been tracked by a number of Premier League sides.

The bid was accepted by the League Two club but the move fell down over payments to agents, not because of Barnett’s wage demands, as previously thought.

Barnett remains a target and the situation could yet change before the transfer window ends next Tuesday. The same applies to Kwesi Appiah, though the Margate striker has stated he will not be joining Pool.

Seasiders manager Ian Holloway has plenty of others on his radar, including long-term target Paddy McCourt, the Celtic midfielder, and former loan pair Barry Bannan and Stephen Dobbie.

Bannan is struggling to get back into the Aston Villa team after off-the-field issues, though he has been regularly coming off the bench, and Dobbie is out of favour at Swansea.

Jason Puncheon, desperate to leave Southampton, is also an option ... not that Holloway wants to discuss any of it.

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The Seasiders boss said: “People can bandy around whatever names they like but I won’t talk about other people’s players – it’s not right.

“I’ve given the chairman a list of players I think can help us and I am sure he is doing all he can to get some of them.

“If we do get a couple, then fantastic; but if nothing happens, so what?

“We’ll get on with things and look at where we are in the league. We’re doing pretty well, so I reckon we’ve got a half-decent group here already to say the least. You are always on moving sand in the transfer window and it is just a waste of breath.

“I won’t get excited about anything because all I’m concerned about is working with the players we’ve got. That’s what excites me.

“So let’s not get weighed down by all this nonsense. Let’s keep positive and see if we can keep our good (four-game) unbeaten run going.”

As for Barnett, his club Crawley praised Blackpool for the way they conducted their business.

Manager Steve Evans said: “We received a number of written offers from Championship clubs and big clubs in League One for Tyrone, but the only offer my board of directors accepted was from Blackpool.

“Following a few days of telephone discussions with Ian Holloway and latterly chairman Karl Oyston, a transfer fee was agreed which was close on £1m, and there were further incentives for Crawley when Tyrone had been successful.

“Let me be very clear, the two gentleman at Blackpool FC were utterly professional and articulate to deal with from start to finish.

“Tyrone and his representatives obviously did not think it was right for him and it is always his prerogative to say no to a move at this time.

“As his manager I am delighted he is still with is and I just wished the transfer window closed today. The likes of Tyrone will always be subject to offers.”

Appiah, who has 33 goals this term, revealed why he turned down a £200,000 move to the Seasiders last week. “I just decided it wasn’t for me, simple as that,” the 21-year-old said. “There are a lot of factors involved that I don’t want to get into because they are confidential, but the outcome was that it probably wasn’t the best place for me.