Pool chase Berra but striker top priority

Paul Ince
Paul Ince
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Blackpool are in the race for Scotland defender Christophe Berra, though new strikers remain top of manager Paul Ince’s priority list.

The 28-year-old centre-half was released by Wolves at the end of the season and The Gazette understands he is on Pool’s radar, though they are likely to face stiff competition after Rangers boss Ally McCoist confirmed his interest.

Central defence is one of many headaches for manager Ince after talks with MK Dons’ Gary MacKenzie stalled. Alex Baptiste and Ian Evatt have left the club, while Kirk Broadfoot has so far shown no interest in discussing a new deal.

The 13 senior players currently on Pool’s books include Tom Ince, though the club have accepted an £8m bid from Premier League new boys Cardiff for last season’s 18-goal top scorer.

Manager Ince is especially eager to recruit strikers, admitting his side’s over-dependence on his son to supply the goals affected his form as Pool battled relegation at the end of the season.

Ince said: “I thought Thomas looked tired towards the back end of the season, which he would.

“There was so much pressure on him to perform and to score the goals because he was doing it in the early part of season.

“That can wear you down, not just physically but mentally, and you shouldn’t put that sort of pressure on one player, especially a lad of 21. That’s why I want to get strikers in to score us goals.”

Berra, who has 27 Scotland caps, moved to Molineux from Hearts for £2.3m in January 2009.