Pool have no intention of selling Phillips

Matt Phillips
Matt Phillips
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IAN Holloway says Blackpool have no intention of selling Matt Phillips.

Southampton tabled a bid of £5m over the weekend, after a week of speculation and rows over the alleged tapping-up of the striker.

Pool claim Saints have acted wrongly by contacting the 21-year-old and his agent without official permission.

The Scotland international informed Pool manager Ian Holloway of his wish to leave the club last week and was left out of the squad for Saturday’s Championship opener at Millwall, where two Tom Ince goals sealed a 2-0 win.

It was said Phillips wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play after handing in an official transfer request on Friday.

But Holloway said: “At the end of the day, the opportunity is only there if the bid is what the selling club wants.

“My chairman quite categorically doesn’t even want to contemplate selling Matt Phillips or any of my team.

“He wants to move on and try and add to this squad. If he decides he’s not willing to even talk to clubs about a deal, then he’s got every right to do that.

“If he’s not been contacted in a way he feels is right, he’s got every right to do whatever he likes.

“There aren’t many clubs who could turn down that sort of money and not even want to talk about it.

“Just like with the Charlie Adam situation, Karl (Oyston) is always in control.”

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Holloway revealed the decision that Phillips would not travel to London was made after a team meeting at the club’s Squires Gate training ground on Friday morning.

And while he sympathises with the player, he feels the team is more important.

Holloway added: “We all got together and spoke about it. The lads told him how proud they are of him – obviously £5m is quite a lot of money. But he’s in our first team, developing and only 21.

“There are all sorts of prices out there for players at the moment – Joe Allen for example. We’ll have to wait and see.

“I can’t ask someone whose mind is on other things to come in and keep things ticking over for us.

“The decision I took not to bring Matty wasn’t nice, but the team is much more important that anyone, so off we went.”

Phillips looks unlikely to be involved in tomorrow’s game against Leeds at Bloomfield Road, though Holloway added: “If someone doesn’t want to sell you, you can’t go anywhere.

“Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday, if nothing has happened, I might be able to bring him back into the squad.

“I honestly don’t think anything will happen. In fact, I’m totally convinced it won’t, with my chairman and his attitude to it at the moment.

“My only advice is: don’t try to argue with Karl Oyston. I tried to and it gives me a headache.”