Bristol Rovers closes in on Stoke City's Matthew Lund
BRISTOL Rovers boss Mark McGhee is close to completing a deal to bring Stoke City midfielder Matthew Lund back to the Memorial Stadium.
McGhee yesterday confirmed that talks were close to a conclusion with the Premier League club's director of football, John Rudge, and that he was hoping that an agreement would be reached by the end of this week.
Lund, who featured 13 times and scored two goals during a loan spell for Rovers at the end of last season, is expected to sign on a six-month loan deal, while McGhee also confirmed talks are still on-going with Leicester over returns to the Memorial Stadium for young defensive duo Cian Bolger and Tom Parkes.
The manager began his summer recruitment surge with the signings of young midfielder pair Oliver Norburn and Seanan Clucas last week and is now turning his attentions to adding some 'experienced' new faces to his squad.
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McGhee, however, warned that he was being forced to exercise patience in his hunt for new players when saying: "The sort of players I want to bring here are the ones that other teams are also in for. I don't want to bring players here that nobody else wants. We need people that are capable of taking us somewhere and therefore we are in competition with other clubs for those types of players.
"In this day and age these players have agents that will hang off and wait for a better offer here or there so it takes time.
"We have a lot of work to do in terms of recruitment, but you just have to accept that you will be kept waiting. We're working very hard behind the scenes to finalise one or two things, but I'm relaxed about it and I'm prepared to be patient."
A striker remains McGhee's top priority after two bids for Oxford United's James Constable were knocked back earlier in the summer.
Constable returned to pre-season training with Oxford at the tail-end of last week, but McGhee, pictured, added: "Oxford resisted our advances and we can't do anything about that.
"James is the type of player we're looking for and if he becomes available we'd be interested, provided we haven't done any other business in that area at that time."
McGhee, meanwhile, is still uncertain over the future of Mustapha Carayol. The winger has yet to sign the offer of a new deal to extend his stay at the Memorial Stadium beyond next summer and has been the subject of failed bids from Championship clubs Middlesbrough and Derby County in recent weeks.
"I don't know right now what the situation will be," McGhee said. "We have to stick to our guns regardless of Muzzy's feelings. Having said that, we're not going to be ridiculous about it; we're not asking for £10 million. The reality is that if an offer comes in that is acceptable then it will be difficult to resist it. I'd love to be able to keep Muzzy and of course we could insist that he stays.
"We could then keep him for the whole season and then let him go on a free at the end of the year. That of course is an option, but how would the player's state of mind be knowing that he could be playing in the Championship earning a huge amount of money instead of being here? Morally, we have to take a view on that. It's not impossible to think that Muzzy will say that he is prepared to buckle down and be here for the season. I'd be delighted if that were to be the case."
Rovers play their first pre-season game against the Royal Marines at Endurance Park in Exmouth (3pm) on Saturday.