Transfer frenzy at Pool with Liverpool duo next

Tom Ince
Tom Ince
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IF Blackpool wanted to cheer up their fans after losing Charlie Adam, they are going about it the right way.

On a day of frenetic activity, the club announced the shock news that Stephen Crainey had agreed to stay at Blackpool after all, while The Gazette understands that veteran striker Kevin Phillips will put pen to paper over the weekend.

Keeper Matt Gilks’ new Seasiders deal was confirmed, then Ian Evatt revealed he had signed an extension to his contract, and Pool also agreed one-year deals with young centre-back Ashley Eastham and star youth teamer Liam Tomsett.

While all this was going on, the club continued talks with Liverpool teenagers Tom Ince and Gerardo Bruna about a switch to Bloomfield Road.

Ince, son of former Manchester United and West Ham star Paul, is a 19-year-old attacking midfielder who has impressed in the reserve and youth teams at Anfield since 2008.

His one first-team appearance for the Reds was as a substitute in last season’s Carling Cup defeat to Northampton.

He spent a successful loan spell at Notts County, where his father was in charge, scoring two goals in six appearances.

If a deal can be agreed with Argentine Bruna, also 19, his trickery would surely make him a favourite at Blackpool.

Once dubbed the ‘New Messi’, Liverpool took the left winger before Real could tie him to a professional contract on his 18th birthday.

He had been at the Bernabeu for five years and Madrid were fuming at the loss of a potential star.

The Seasiders are in talks about permanent deals for both Anfield teenagers but may settle for loan moves if needs be.

The stumbling block could be pay. Despite their tender age, both players are on a substantial weekly wage.

Pool can afford to pay it but want to make sure the pair are worth the kind of money being asked.

Signing Crainey didn’t come cheap either – the Scot has become one of the highest earners at the club after knocking back offers from Bristol City, Swansea and Wigan to sign a two-year deal with a further 12-month option.

Crainey was so keen to sign he cycled from his home in Lytham to Bloomfield Road to put pen to paper.