Signing up Ross Hannah and Scott Neilson 'won't be easy', says Grimsby Town joint boss Paul Hurst
BOTH Ross Hannah and Scott Neilson will be available to Grimsby Town permanently in January – but joint boss Paul Hurst admits there are ‘issues’ to overcome with both deals.
Frontman Hannah will be allowed to leave parent club Bradford City in the new year, but Town will have to stump up a fee to retain the services of the club’s top scorer.
Meanwhile, Neilson has been told that he can also leave Crawley in January if he finds a new club, with manager Richie Barker saying the decision is down to the 25-year-old winger.
Scott and Hurst have already stated their intention to keep as many of their current loanees as possible, but Hurst says there is work to be done before deals for Hannah and Neilson can materialise.
He said: “We’ve spoken to Phil Parkinson at Bradford and Ross will be available in January – but they are looking for a transfer fee.
“It’s now a conversation that we need to have with the relevant people at the football club to see if there’s anything we can do with that.
“We’ve been made aware that he won’t be able to come out on loan again, so it’s a case of whether we can do something permanently. If not, then it might have to be a case of looking at other players.
“We’ve obviously got a list of players as a contingency plan but there’s also the other strikers that we’ve got at the club – who have been kept on the sidelines because of how well Ross has been doing – to consider as well.
“We’ve openly said that we’d like to keep all of the loan lads and Ross is no different.
“Yes, a fee does make it more difficult for us and there will have to be discussions around that – we’ll see what we can do.”
Neilson has been in sparkling form since joining on loan from Crawley in the same week that Hannah also joined the Mariners.
On the future of the tricky winger, Hurst added: “It’s a case of ‘who knows’ with Scott.
“What I would say is that Scott has enjoyed it here, but the counter issue is that he’s a long way from home.
“He likes it here and he knows how well-thought of he is and what we think of him as managers, and I think there is a lot to be said for that.
“Players move to club thinking they are going to be better off and then they find themselves sat on the bench, out of the team, or don’t get on with the new manager.
“The advantage we have here is that he knows what it’s like, what me and Rob are like and how the team play and, if he did come to us, he would be joining a team that is pushing for promotion.
“With those things considered, we feel we are a good option for him and we’ve got a few aces in our hand but ultimately, I can’t speak for Scott.
He added: “Finances will play a part of course, but Scott wants to play football.
“There are some players that are more than happy to sit at the club they’re at, not play but pick up their money and take the easy life – but Scott’s not like that, he wants to be playing and that’s how it should be.
“We hopeful that a deal can be done, but there are issues to overcome with each and every one of the loan lads that are unique to each player.
“But we’ll keep working and see what we can do.”