BREAKING NEWS: Stags make club record bid for a striker

Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson
Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town have made a club record bid for a striker and boss Steve Evans hopes the player will agree to speak to him today.

Evans, who has all but given up on Scunthorpe forward Tom Hopper, has quickly turned his attentions to a player from a higher division that he knows well and didn’t expect to become available.

“In the last few days we became aware that a player – a type of player we like - might be available,” he said.

“So I had a long chat with their manager on the phone this morning.

“It won’t be a question if we can get there on the fee – I know we can get there on the fee and it would be a club record.

“So his manager is going to have a chat with that player today and say would you like to have a football chat?

“I don’t get involved with personal terms – that’s up to the chairman and the chief executive.

“But it’s would he like to have a chat with Mansfield Town about the possibility of going there?

“I wouldn’t think it will be in time for the weekend.

“But if I get that call this afternoon I’d have a perfect situation as I am with the chairman and chief executive tomorrow to talk about players and I’d love to go to that meeting presenting this opportunity to them.”

Evans added: “He is a striker who has scored goals and been a real handful against my teams in the past - I’ve always told my centre backs to batter him from start to finish.

“But he has to want to come, like the boy at Scunthorpe.

“It’s not about coming to Mansfield Town, some of these lads don’t want to go and play in League Two.

“Sometimes players forget what they get paid for. I see these young players sitting about football clubs in League One and the Championship, not playing every week, and they are happy for themselves and their families to go round saying they are a footballer. You have to want to play.

“This lad will have options, but if his manager says he wants to have a chat with me I’ll get in the car and go and have a coffee with him.”

Stags tried to prise Tom Hopper away from Scunthorpe last week but, after a fee had been agreed, the player mulled over the move and has now said he is still hoping to stay at a higher level.

“He is a young man who has spoke to his family and wants to play at higher levels and we respect that,” said Evans.

“I had a bit of dialogue with Tom. It was very honest, very professional, very genuine.

“The chief executive spoke to the people at Scunthorpe and had an agreement within a couple of hours – that was the easy part.

“But players have to want to come and play for you. They have to want to come to the level, embrace it and be better than it.

“But we’d never say never until we strengthen. He is a young man that we like.

“But he has on been on their bench the last couple of games and I can only assume there may have been a change in their thought process.”

Evans is still hoping to bring in a striker and attacking midfielder before the window closes and said: “We are trying so hard.

“It’s very difficult to get these things over the line, especially when other clubs have to do their business “You don’t always immediately get what you want. But we have a good squad here so we can be patient.

“We want to sign a player that will add to it, not because people feel the pressure from supporters.

“As much as every supporter of Mansfield Town wants to see one or two quality additions to the squad, I want to see it more than them. But I have to do it in the right way.

“There are no wins here for me signing people and trying to convince supporters we have signed better than what we’ve got. They will know the minute we announce the names if they are better or adding something.”

He added: “It’s not the Radford family that hasn’t made a signing in the last week – it’s me.

“We had agreed something with a club, but I’ve just not been comfortable with the terms that I needed to bring in the player so I’ve not done it.

“We have to be very focused on who we want and if they will add something to what we’ve got.

“It is easier for the chairman and chief executive to say to me let’s do it.

“But they charge me with running the football department and the dressing room and making sure within that dressing room we have, not always parity, but we have a real togetherness and no standalone characters.”

On the current situation on signing a midfielder, he said: “We are talking to a couple of clubs now.

“They are very high up on our list and the season is now up and running, so I think the managers will be settling down as to who their squad is going to be and who needs to get out and play.”

Evans said he will be happy when the window closes at the end of the month, adding: “I will be glad from my own point of view as not only do we sign people but people also try to sign some of ours.”