SIGNING David Vaughan on a long-term deal at Blackpool is top of Ian Holloway’s priority list.
The Seasiders boss is desperate to persuade Vaughan to commit his future to the club, convinced the Welsh midfielder can be an integral part of his team for years to come.
Vaughan, who turns 28 later this month, is a free agent in the summer when his current contract runs out.
Holloway admitted he was “amazed” no one came in for Vaughan during the transfer window, and now plans to step up efforts to convince the player to stay.
“We need to try to get David to stay because he is a super little player who has been brilliant for me since I came here,” said the boss, ahead of today’s Premier League clash at Everton.
“I am amazed and staggered no one made a call about him during the last month because for me he has been one of the stars of the Premier League.
“So now one of my priorities is trying to persuade him to stay.”
There was a school of thought that the club might be tempted to offload Vaughan last month – along with Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks, who are also out of contract at the end of the season – rather than risk losing them for nothing in the summer.
Holloway dismissed that. “We were never looking to cash in on David during the window, or on Stephen Crainey or Matt Gilks,” he said.
“Good clubs bring in players in January and kick on – they don’t get rid of people.
“Vaughan is up and around the top earners. We have already made him one very good offer, and he is still thinking about it. The same goes for Stephen Crainey.
“I hope they don’t wait too long, because the longer they think about it the more chance my chairman might want to pull the plug, because he takes it quite personally sometimes!
“But I can understand why players in the modern game want to think long and hard about these sorts of things, so I am quite relaxed about it.
“I’m due to have another chat with my chairman about it and we’ll take it from there, but I would definitely like to keep them.”
Holloway is desperate to take something from today’s clash with Everton, after a run of six defeats from the last seven Premier League outings, which has seen Pool slip to within five points of the drop zone.
However, they will meet a Toffees side also desperate for points, with Everton below the Seasiders – and just four points above the bottom three.
Their Achilles heel has been their home form – just 14 points won at Goodison Park this season, and midfielder Mikel Arteta warns that it must improve but he is wary of the test Blackpool pose.
“Our home form is not good enough.