Blackpool set to lose out on loan star Dan Ballard as Arsenal man closes in on sealing move to Championship rivals Millwall

Dan Ballard is in advanced talks to join Blackpool’s Championship rivals Millwall, according to reports.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 10:52 am
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:11 am

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The 21-year-old has been linked with a return to Bloomfield Road after enjoying a successful season-long loan spell with the Seasiders last term.

But a host of other Championship sides were keen on the Arsenal loanee, including Blackburn Rovers.

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But it appears Millwall are the side to win the race for the Northern Ireland international, with Ballard due to remain in the capital.

It's understood the defender will undergo a medical this week.

If Ballard is to move elsewhere, Blackpool have already strengthened in that area of the pitch with the permanent signing of Oliver Casey from Leeds United and former Everton and Fleetwood Town man Callum Connolly.

Neil Critchley already has Marvin Ekpiteta, Daniel Gretarsson and Jordan Thorniley on the books, while James Husband is also capable of playing in the centre of defence if and when required.

Ballard looks set to remain in the capital

Nevertheless, it would be a blow to miss out on Ballard given his impressive performances in tangerine last season.

Ballard made 38 appearances under Neil Critchley last season and was a key member of their promotion-winning side.

While a season-long loan appears to be the most likely for Ballard, it was recently reported that Arsenal would also consider a permanent transfer for the Northern Ireland international, who is unlikely to force his way into Mikel Arteta's first-team plans.

Nevertheless, a season-long loan move appears to be the most likely option for Ballard, who still has two years remaining on his contract.

Ballard, who has yet to make his senior bow for the Premier League side, finds himself behind the likes of Rob Holding and Gabriel at the Emirates Stadium.

According to reports, Arsenal are also interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion and England centre-back Ben White, which would force him further down the pecking order.

Ballard clearly enjoyed his season-long spell at Bloomfield Road, something that could work in the Seasiders favour in their bid to bring him back for a second campaign.

"Thank you to all the staff, players and fans at Blackpool for making me feel so welcome during my time here," Ballard posted to his Instagram page after the conclusion of his loan spell.

"I loved every moment and it was even more special to finish with a win at Wembley.

"Thank you."

One of last season's loanees who could still make his return is Nottingham Forest right-back Jordan Gabriel.

The Seasiders are keen to bring the 22-year-old back on a permanent basis, but they face competition from League One side Portsmouth.

Pool currently have no right-backs on their books following Gabriel's return to the City Ground and the surprise departure of Ollie Turton to Huddersfield Town.

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