A key asset to the Shakers going into the 2017/18 season is obviously striker James Vaughan following his 24 goals last season, and, whilst Lee Clark admitted that bids had been rejected for his prize asset, his plans are very much for Vaughan to be a major part of his side going into the new campaign
“We had a verbal offer for James last week and until it becomes an official bid in writing then nothing will happen. James is a player that we do not want to sell. Jermaine Beckford wasn’t brought in to replace him, just as Joe Skarz wasn’t brought in to replace Greg Leigh.
“I want to put supporters’ minds at rest with this one, we are trying to build a squad, we must have players that can cover different positions, we must haver versatile players and Joe Skarz can play left sided centre half and left back. Jay O’Shea can play at number ten and he can play wide. Callum Reilly can play centre midfield or he can play left midfield. We must have players with this versatility.
“It helps numbers in the squad if you have situations like last season with an injury here or there. We do not want to lose James Vaughan. We know that there are people out there that want him. Obviously to score 24 goals in a team that finished in the bottom six is a phenomenal return.
“James if a terrific player, a terrific lad and I understand that he wants to play at the highest level. There is no need for us to sell him. Every player has a valuation at any football club. If we get the offer that we feel is right, and James wants it to go through, then we will sit down and talk.
“I am planning on James being around. I hope that he is excited about the signings that we have made. I hope he sees that the actions are speaking louder than words about us trying to go for the top six. He scored 24 goals in a team that struggled. We are assembling a squad that will be higher up the League, and that they can create even more chances for him, so he can get even more than 24 goals. The bottom line and the clear message is, we don’t want to sell him. He has a price of course. We haven’t brought in players to replace him.
“If the worst scenario happens and he does go, then we have got players down the line that we can get here. We must be diligent in football. I am looking at players now that we may be going for in January, maybe even at the end of next season. That’s what you do in football, you don’t stand still.
“James himself is fine with all this, we’ve had a conversation with the Chairman and James in the early part of the summer and he was fine with it. There has been no conversation since. The only call we have had from James was to ask when he was returning for pre-season. That tells me that he is up and ready to go.”
The video interview with Lee Clark is available to view free of charge by clicking here