Ross Hannah still keen on Grimsby Town despite other clubs' interest
ROSS Hannah has ‘two or three’ other clubs after his signature, but the striker insists Grimsby Town are his number one choice.
The Bradford City forward continues to negotiate with the Mariners over a permanent deal following his hugely successful loan spell at Blundell Park before Christmas.
Nine goals in 14 starts convinced the Town bosses to lodge a bid for the 26-year-old who is out of contract at Valley Parade in the summer.
But after almost three weeks of to-ing and fro-ing, talks appear to have ground to a halt.
“As far as I’m aware, the deal is still on,” Hannah told the Telegraph in an exclusive interview yesterday.
“We’re still communicating and we’ve heard nothing to say the deal is dead – I’ve certainly not said that I won’t come.
“I enjoyed my time at Grimsby Town and I want to carry on where I left off and finish the job.
“Bradford have said I’m allowed to talk to Grimsby and that’s what we’ve been doing.
“Things like this aren’t always a quick process. Unfortunately, with this one it seems to be taking longer than I, and obviously Grimsby, would have liked.”
Paul Buckle’s Luton Town are amongst the clubs who have been linked with an approach for Hannah.
After fellow loan star Scott Neilson’s switch to the Hatters following a similar spell in Cleethorpes, that would be a hard move to take for Mariners fans.
“I’m not going to name names but there are two or three other clubs that have enquired to Bradford about me,” he added.
“But, as I’ve always said, my number one destination is Grimsby – it has been from day one. It would be nice to get something sorted and get on with it.
“There are things that come into play when it becomes a permanent deal that you’ve got to think long and hard about.
“If that’s where your future is going to lie for the next two or three years – which I would like it to be – you’ve got to be happy with everything.
“That’s not only on the pitch but off it as well. It’s a big decision to take.
“That’s the same for both parties. I would love to say ‘yep, I’ll come’ but I’ve got to make sure it’s right for myself, for my family and Grimsby want to be getting a happy player.”
Hannah’s match-winning contribution in Town’s victory over Wrexham last month was the last time Mariners fans saw the frontman.
Since his return to the Bantams, he has again found his first-team opportunities limited.
A 16-minute cameo off the bench in the League Two defeat to Rochdale was followed by a bout of illness which kept him out of action into the New Year.
The Yorkshireman did return to Phil Parkinson’s squad for Tuesday evening’s stunning Capital One Cup victory over Aston Villa, but was confined to the bench.
“It’s frustrating because I’ve gone from three months of playing football for a good team and really enjoying it, back to Bradford where I’ve not played,” he continued.
“I want to be playing football and that’s what I’m missing at the moment.
“In an ideal world I’d have loved for it to be sorted immediately, and could have just carried on at Grimsby when the loan spell ended.
“For whatever reason that hasn’t happened but I’m not ruling anything out.
“The key is to be patient. There’s nobody more frustrated than myself because I want to be playing – and Grimsby Town is where I want to be playing.”
Hannah was also desperate to reassure Mariners supporters that he wants a return to North East Lincolnshire.
He said: “I like to interact with the fans but you can’t always tell the full story when you’re in this situation.
“I’ve had loads of tweets asking if I’m coming back and it’s hard because I don’t want to look like I’m ignoring people. But you can’t go into detail when things aren’t done and dusted.”