PALMER RUBBISHES BAPTISTE STORIES
Palmer rubbishes John-Baptiste stories
CARLTON Palmer has rubbished reports that Sheffield United have made a bid for Stags skipper Alex John-Baptiste.
Sunday newspaper reports suggested Neil Warnock had offered hot shot Luke Beckett, plus another player and £150,000 for Stags' hot teenage defensive prospect.
But Palmer said: "It's a load of rubbish - no offer has been made by Sheffield United.
"This all stems from a conversation I had with Neil Warnock at the end of last season when I was after Luke Beckett.
"They asked me about Alex then but we've heard nothing since.
"We do not want to lose Alex. He is a level-headed lad and he knows myself and Peter Shirtliff were excellent central defenders and will work with him in what is a very important year for him.
"We think he can play at a higher level - I honestly believe he can play in the Premiership. And there is no way we would stand in his way if the deal was right for Mansfield Town Football Club. But there have been no offers."
However, Beckett, a prime target for Oldham Athletic recently, remains on Palmer's wanted list.
"Luke is someone I admire," he said. "I took him to Stockport and he is a great goalscorer and a great lad.
"I would love to have him here at the football club."
However, there were rumours this morning that Beckett looks set to sign for Port Vale.
New first team coach Shirtliff is due to start work at Field Mill today.
mansfieldtown.net reports that Carlton Palmer today confirmed that he has made enquiries about Luke Beckett and that Neil Warnock has been asking about centre half Alex John-Baptiste but stresses that no deal has been made between the two clubs.
"I have enquired about Luke Beckett and have done many time in the past, and, Sheffield United have been on to us asking about Alex John-Baptiste but there is no truth in the rumours that a deal has been arrived at between us.
"If an offer was made to the club and we felt it was the best thing for Alex and the best thing for Mansfield Town Football Club then it would be considered. But no such offer has yet been made and we do not want to lose Alex".
thisissheffield.net, 20 June 2005
Meanwhile, the saga surrounding Luke Beckett's departure from Bramall Lane rumbles on with several reports claiming he could be used as a makeweight by Warnock in the transfer market.
Mansfield, who recently scared United off by quoting an undisclosed six figure sum for their promising, but unproven, defender Alex John Baptiste, have made it known they are keen on signing the former Stockport County striker, who cost £50,000 last season.
Oldham said last week that United had turned down their offer of £150,000 for a player rated as one of the most consistent goalscorers in the lower leagues.
Blades target Baptiste is priced out of market
thisissheffield.net, 18 June 2005
SHEFFIELD United are unlikely to pursue their interest in Mansfield's Alex John Baptiste after the League Two club priced him out of the market.
The Star understands that officials from Field Mill approached Bramall Lane late last month as part of an exercise designed to smoke-out bids for the promising 19-year-old.
It received a favourable response from United, who believed Baptiste could be groomed into an important member of Neil Warnock's squad.
Earlier this year Warnock admitted he was on the look-out for talented youngsters capable of becoming first team players,but, having been quoted a preliminary six figure sum, United are expected to focus their energies on more high-profile targets, including Watford centre-forward Heidar Helguson.
Warnock though faces a battle to persuade the Iceland international to swap Vicarage Road for Bramall Lane, with sources close to the player insisting West Ham is his preferred destination.
Baptiste, described by Mansfield's website as "comfortable both in the centre of the back row or taking up a position in the middle of the park", rose to prominence after impressing against Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler in a friendlylast pre-season.
Latest | June 2005