Simon Grayson: Blackpool don’t have to sell their top players

Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt
Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt
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Working at a club where the owner wants to keep the “crown jewels” is music to the ears of Blackpool boss Simon Grayson.

Both Curtis Tilt and Marc Bola have been linked with moves away from Bloomfield Road this summer, but Simon Sadler has assured Grayson the Seasiders do not need to sell.

Rotherham United were expected to come back with an improved offer for Tilt having recently sold defender Semi Ajayi to West Bromwich Albion for a fee believed to be £1.5m.

However, it is understood Pool have informed the Millers they won’t be entertaining any offers for the 27-year-old, who has also been offered an improved contract to remain with the club.

Bola, meanwhile, has been chased by Luton Town and Brentford.

“No matter who you are, every player has their price – but that’s just part and parcel of football,” Grayson said.

“But what I’ve been told by the owner is that we don’t have to sell any players and I’m more than happy to keep the best players.

“If the players want to stay then the owner has given me assurances that we don’t need to do that (sell).

“It might be a case where the owner might want to sell someone to raise some money then that could happen, because that’s just the world of football.

“But ultimately we don’t have to sell any players and that’s a rarity in this modern day football.”

When asked if the club has received bids for either Tilt or Bola, Grayson replied: “I think there’s been enquiries, but there has been nothing that has come to us that has made us think it’s an acceptable offer.

“To reiterate, the owner has told me I do not have to sell any players and that’s music to my ears.

“You go to many clubs where your crown jewels get taken away from you, but I want to work with these players.

“That’s all of them – not just Marc Bola and Curtis Tilt – I want to work with them and make them better players.

“Keeping your better players gives you a better chance of getting to where you want to be at the end of the season.”

Grayson was speaking after Saturday’s 3-0 friendly win at Barrow, which saw new signing Ryan Hardie make his debut for the club.

The 22-year-old impressed the manager, who said: “I was pleased with him.

“He only joined up with the group on Friday for the first time and it’s not easy to do that.

“I thought he looked lively running over the top but he could have made the keeper work a few more times.

“But he’s only going to get better with more understanding with the players and the more fitness he gets.

“He’s only played a couple of 45 minutes to this appearance will do him the world of good.”