Goalkeeper Joe Lewis has been left in limbo after Blackpool’s failed bid to send him back to Cardiff City.
The Gazette understands the Seasiders yesterday asked the Welsh club to terminate the 27-year-old’s season-long loan immediately, but Cardiff are so far refusing to do so.
Lewis has been one of Pool’s stand-out players this season, with eye-catching displays despite the club’s league plight.
He was left out of the squad for Saturday’s trip to Watford and replaced by Ell-iot Parish, who conceded seven goals. Manager Lee Clark said the decision was made for “tactical reasons”.
Under the terms of Lewis’ loan agreement, it is believed Pool must pay Cardiff around £40,000 once he has played a specified number of games, and this could be a reason for Pool’s attempt to off-load him .
Lewis has made 27 appearances and it is believed the £40,000 payment would entitle Pool to sign Lewis permanently at the end of the season, though the money would not be refunded if the Seasiders decided against a deal.
Lewis is not training with his Blackpool team-mates while the matter is unresolved and it is another major distraction in the club’s desperate battle against relegation.
Clark insisted over the weekend that Lewis’ potential departure was nothing to do with money.
He explained: “Joe was left out for tactical reasons. I spoke to him on Thursday about it.
“If he decides (to go back to Cardiff) because he’s not getting in the team, that’s his choice.
“It would be a three-way thing between us, Joe and Cardiff. It would be nothing to do with finance at all.”
Neither Lewis nor the club could comment on the situation yesterday, though it’s believed Lewis is more than happy to stay at Bloomfield Road.
It’s been another tough week for Clark, whose squad again trained on the Bloomfield Road pitch yesterday.
They go into Saturday’s huge home game against Brighton with spirits at an all-time-low.
Should Lewis return to Cardiff, it has been reported they could move for Sheffield Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland.
The 33-year-old was a target for Jose Riga in the summer but rejected an offer from Pool and remained with Wednesday, for whom he hasn’t made a league appearance all season.