Neil Critchley surprised to see Blackpool linked with Tottenham, Sheffield United and Scottish giants in race for Wigan striker Kyle Joseph

Neil Critchley has played down speculation linking Blackpool with a January transfer swoop for Wigan Athletic striker Kyle Joseph.

Friday, 15th January 2021, 8:00 am

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Reports in the national media last weekend suggested the Seasiders had enquired about the highly-rated 19-year-old.

Joseph, who joined Wigan’s academy at the age of 13 before rising through their youth ranks, has broken into the Latics’ first team this season and has scored four goals in 13 games in all competitions.

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Wigan's Kyle Joseph in action against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in November

However, it’s also been reported that the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers are all interested – and to be included in such esteemed company came as a surprise to Blackpool’s head coach.

“I’m not sure how some things come about, I really don’t. That’s news to me, I’ve got to be honest,” Critchley told The Gazette.

“We speak about a lot of players and we look at a lot of players, but Kyle Joseph has been linked with Celtic, Rangers and Tottenham. He’s got a whole host of big clubs looking at him.

“He’s a good player and, while we’re looking (for new players), it’s not right for me to speak about Kyle Joseph because he’s got far bigger clubs looking at him.

“He’s done well so far for Wigan this season, he’s a young player with lots of potential. But I’m not sure how people speculate and throw our name into that hat.”

Halfway through the window, the Seasiders have yet to bring in any reinforcements, though they have extended Dan Ballard’s loan from Arsenal until the end of the season.

Critchley admits that’s unlikely to change in the immediate future, although the Seasiders are working hard behind the scenes.

“Nothing is imminent, but we’re talking on a daily basis and we’re meeting regularly,” he added.

“There’s nothing imminent, but we’re hopeful.”

Pool’s boss has previously admitted the club are unlikely to be too busy this month, especially when compared to recent transfer windows.

He has, however, conceded the Seasiders are likely to bring in one or two new players and move on a further one or two.

The club also have a decision to make over some of their loanees, Ben Woodburn in particular.

His loan is due to expire on Sunday, when he will then return to parent club Liverpool unless Blackpool opt to extend his deal until the end of the season.

Jordan Gabriel and Dan Kemp, meanwhile, could also be recalled or sent back to their parent clubs should either party wish to do so.

However, unlike Woodburn, their deals are due to last for the entirety of the campaign.

“I think we’d be foolish to make a 100 per cent decision because we’ve still got a game on Saturday,” Critchley said of Blackpool’s loan players.

“With CJ Hamilton, Daniel Gretarsson and Keshi Anderson being out injured, we have to put everything into our consideration.

“We’ve got a few players who are on loan and we have to decide and they have to decide as well if it’s the right thing for them to stay here for the second half of the season.

“That will become a lot clearer after this game at the weekend.”

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