Pool close-in on striker deal

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
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A PREMIER League striker could join the Seasiders on their journey to London this afternoon.

Pool were hoping to conclude a loan deal yesterday only for it to fall through at the last minute.

The player was expected to join Ian Holloway’s men for training but a delay involving the player’s agent means they face an anxious wait.

Holloway said: “I thought we had this one in the bag but it’s not happened yet.

“It’s nothing to do with us this time – it’s to do with the player’s agent and what he wants out of his player’s club. It’s pretty bizarre. I spoke to his manager. He’s more than happy for the lad to come to us and it was all done and dusted.

“He would have worked a treat. He was going to train with us yesterday and he was just what we needed, but it didn’t happen. “It’s another day in the life of a crazy football manager.”

Pool are hoping the conclude the deal this morning, which will allow him to be in the squad for the game against Millwall.

“We’ll have to wait and see if we can get a deal done on Friday,” Holloway added.

“The deal could in the morning and hopefully he’ll be on our trip.”

Despite the striker not having not trained with Pool, Holloway would have no fears about throwing him straight in.

The manager added: “He’s probably fitter than most of my players from the stats I’ve seen from him,” said Holloway.

“He’s lost a bit of weight he had on him last year apparently. He’s had a really good pre-season and if his club loan him to us I’ll be delighted. He’ll be a real asset.”

The Gazette understands the striker is not Stephen Dobbie. Blackpool had a bid accepted for the Swansea forward earlier this week and have been in talks about a permanent move. However, negotiations are going slowly and it is very unlikely anything will move on that front ahead of tomorrow’s game.

One striker who will be available is Kevin Phillips. The 39-year-old was a doubt after tearing his hamstring during pre-season.

But he has trained all week and will be included in the squad. Holloway is delighted. “Kevin Phillips is fit, looks sharp and will be in contention,” he said.

“I can’t come up with anything new to say about him, Kev’s absolutely fantastic and it’s a huge boost to have him back.

“He’s probably one of my favourite players ever. How he goes about things, how professional he is – it’s amazing.

“He’s so respectful to every single person, whether they are picked ahead of him or not. He’s the total professional. He’s absolutely outstanding.”