CONTRACT TALKS WITH HOWELL'S AGENT BREAK DOWN
Boss looking at other options after negotiations with Howell 'break down'
mansfieldtown.net, 1st July 2014
Contract negotiations between the club and Anthony Howell have broken down, but Paul Cox says he is 'close' to making new signings, the manager confirmed today.
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We have a lot of irons in fires with a lot clubs, representatives and players, so I won't be pulled into making quick decisions.""
Paul Cox, manager
The 28-year-old has been out-of-contract since the end of last season and was offered a new deal at the start of last month.
Howell looks to become the second player to turn down a contract offer at One Call Stadium in as many days, after it was revealed today that winger Lindon Meikle had signed for York City.
"Talks have stalled and I've told his [Anthony Howell's] representative that we're moving on. We can't afford the package which Anthony Howell wants, it's as simple as that," said Cox, speaking to mansfieldtown.net this afternoon.
"I'd never close the door on anyone permanently but with what his agent was asking for with bits and bobs, it was too far off what we can pay. I won't close the door on any player but at the minute it looks like it's over [Howell's re-signing].
"Anthony has done brilliantly for us over the three years he's been here and I get along with him really well personally. But like I say, we can only pay what we can pay and if Anthony is out of that structure then we have to move on."
On Meikle's move to Bootham Crescent, Cox said: "We had been in negotiations with Lindon's agent for a while now and talks had broken down. He was out of contract and free to talk to who he wanted. I've said in the past that we would lose some good players to other clubs but it's part and parcel of this game. He's been a good servant to Mansfield and at my previous club. I really do wish him all the best in his new role at York City."
Meanwhile, the manager revealed that there are 'a couple' of trialists training with the squad at present, with more expecting to join the group later this week.
"A lot of people are asking me why we aren't making a number of signings. We have 16 [players] registered with the club and will be running with a squad of 22 maximum, so there won't be a whole load of new players coming in. There may be four players; five to six at a push coming in. We have a lot of irons in fires with a lot of clubs, representatives and players, so I won't be pulled into making quick decisions. I believe in being patient and trying to get in the people who we realistically want.
"We're close [to making signings]. I'm talking to clubs about potential loan signings and speaking to representatives. We're positive that something will be done soon."
After the first two days of pre-season training, the manager added that he was pleased with his players' fitness levels .
"The players have returned in excellent shape. In terms of their fitness testing, we've made comparables with a lot of top elite sportsman. They've come back in really good shape and they've worked extremely hard. They've been a credit to themselves with the way they've kept in shape over the summer and with their work in the first two days."
Howell to follow Meikle out the Mansfield Town door
chad.co.uk, 01 July 2014
Midfielder Anthony Howell looks set to follow Lindon Meikle out of the door at Mansfield Town this week.
Meikle today joined York City and talks have now completely broken down with out-of-contract Howell over a new deal, with the club operating on a reduced budget this season.
Stags have already lost Alan Marriott and Junior Daniel after they decided their futures lay elsewhere this summer, Danien joining Port Vale.
On Howell, Cox said: “Talks stalled and I told his agent we are moving on. The package Anthony Howell wants, we can’t afford - it’s as simple as that.
“If he wants to reconsider and get in touch, that’s okay. But something would have to give massively and we are now looking elsewhere.
“Anthony has been a huge part of our success over three years and I get along with him well personally. But what he was asking for and what we can pay are too far apart.”
On Meikle, he said: “Talks with Lindon’s representative had broken down and he was free to speak to anyone.
“It’s part and parcel of the game. We go back a long way, not just at Mansfield, but my previous club, too, and I wish him all the best in his new role at York.”
But, as the rest of his 16-man squad returned for pre-season training in tip-top shape this week, Stags manager Paul Cox said he was very close to signing new faces to bolster his squad up to the 20-22 mark.
He said he was starting to look at trialists in training and added: “We are very close to signing a number of players. Their clubs have been good with us and the players know the sort of finance on offer. I won’t be rushed into anything but I think something can be done very soon.”
Although Stags will be training at Debdale Park in Mansfield Woodhouse, they have initially been down on the hills at Wollaton Park in Nottingham and Cox said: “Not only have they come back in excellent shape, they have also worked so hard we have ended up being able to strip away a certain amount of the long distance running and go into the short, sharp recovery running and hill running. They are a credit to themselves.”
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