Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans today revealed the club missed out on a promising Championship striker, despite having a club record transfer bid accepted, less than four hours from Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
Evans said the deal finally fell through at 7.30pm when they were unable to agree wages, but he added it was a target they may chase again in the summer, particularly were the Stags to gain promotion to League One.
Evans did sign Alec MacDonald and Alfie Potter from the three targets he had spoken of earlier in the day, but on the one that got away, he said: “We couldn’t agree personal terms.
“The chairman and the chief executive were prepared and put in writing an offer that would have completely smashed the club’s transfer record for buying a player.
“But we just couldn’t get there on personal terms. Try as we may, it was difficult.
“We have a structure in the dressing room that we want to keep to. That is of paramount importance to me.
“The chairman thankfully gives me a lot of control. With that comes responsibility and I had to make the decision that, for the sake of the whole squad, we couldn’t have someone on something way above the parapet in terms of earnings.
“So we withdrew from that about 7.30 in the evening.”
Evans continued: It was disappointing because he was a young player and would have been top class. But we just couldn’t get it over the line.
“Maybe we will revisit it in the summer? Who knows? If we got promotion it would sit more comfortably in terms of the earning power. But that’s a long way off – thinking about promotion when we are just trying to focus on Saturday at Barnet.”
While not revealing the player’s name, Evans said of him: “This was a younger player in the Championship. He has been in and out of the team at Championship level.
“I have watched him for a while. I can remember watching him last season in the Championship when I was at Leeds and thinking he could be a proper player.
“He has just gone out of the side in recent times and thankfully John Radford came forward once again and showed the colour of his money.
“We made an offer, and we had to make a second offer which was accepted. But when they are coming from the Championship, even if they are young men, they earn a lot of money, and it just wasn’t going to sit comfortably.
“Let me make it clear – the chairman wanted to do it. “But he does leave the footballing decisions to me and managing the dressing room and my feelings were that would have taken the pay scale out of kinder in the dressing room. So I didn’t want to do that.
“I am not saying everyone earns pound for pound in there. But we need value for money in there and everyone to believe that everyone is at some sort of level of parity. That’s where it just fell. I just didn’t feel right.”
Now Evans is happy to see what the summer brings.
“We had a terrific meeting with the lad and his advisers and we all said on both sides that we might revisit it in the summer,” he said.
“I see he’s going to be in his club’s squad at the weekend and his club may say in the summer he’s not for sale or the terms might be different, but I think they were just looking to get some cash in as they were doing some business themselves.”