Grimsby Town: Mariners closing in on first signing of the summer
JOINT manager Rob Scott says Grimsby Town must play a patient waiting game in a 'cat and mouse' transfer market this summer – although the Telegraph understands one deal may be imminent.
While some of their Blue Square Bet Premier rivals have already moved to strengthen their squads – county rivals Lincoln and big-spending Forest Green adding five and four respectively – Scott and fellow boss Paul Hurst are prepared to bide their time to get the right players they feel will bolster the Mariners' ranks.
A forward is believed to be close to agreeing a switch to Blundell Park. Until then, however, there remains a squad of 12 players under contract for next season – a mix of young players and old heads.
Both Hurst and former chairman John Fenty have recently stated another 10 players is the desired target this close season.
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But Scott believes the ploy to wait and assess the market for quality may see just three or four new faces before pre-season training gets underway in four weeks' time.
Scott said: "It's cat and mouse with players at the moment though we have spoken to a few, like Paul said recently.
"It's still quite early in terms of the league season only just finishing.
"The better players will speak with a number of clubs and hold out for the best offer.
"We aren't prepared to get into auctions and the club isn't a cash cow – we have a wage structure.
"But we will pay for players who we feel are worth it and have a list of the ones we would like.
"We know many of them will hang on until later on nearer the start of next season but there are plenty of players out there.
"It's not like Eden Hazard's situation where he had his pick of top clubs; at this level players may hold out and think they can choose until the rug gets pulled from beneath them and clubs move on.
"Money still talks but you can't make so many demands when there are over 500 players looking for clubs because you risk losing out.
"We are looking for players who have that hunger; who want to take an opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the league.
"It may be we wait for some and only have three of four in before pre-season starts.
"Fans just need to be patient, like us.
"Even at the top level, there hasn't been much activity.
"Often one transfer can create a domino effect and others follow"
Scott feels there is less urgency this summer than last when they drafted in numbers in quick succession as they shaped their own squad six months into the job.
The joint boss reckons there is a good base to start from with experienced professionals like Craig Disley, Anthony Elding and Ian Miller mixed in with young talent such as Andi Thanoj, James McKeown and Shaun Pearson.
And he is targeting a similar mix this summer.
Scott added: "We have players with experience and younger players alongside them.
"We feel we need a bit more experience but also want players young a hungry for success at this club.
"You look at the example of Crewe this season who have a young group, a lot of whom came through their academy, and they have gone up.
"With young players you don't have the fear and that's great to have in your team.
"We will hopefully get some in before pre-season, maybe three or four, and that allows us then to sit tight knowing we have a basis of players.
"We won't jump in quickly; we want to get the right ones with the right qualities and temperament."