Did Matt Green turn down an Imps move?

Striker Matt Green was a surprising inclusion on Mansfield Town’s released list today, and his availability will no doubt interest a lot of clubs in League Two. There is some speculation that as recently as January he turned down a move after Mansfield accepted a cash bid from an National League club: Lincoln City.

Whether this is correct or not is up for debate, but a comment on a Facebook post from a Mansfield fan speculates that Green was the subject of a bid from Lincoln. Mansfield accepted the bid, but Green turned the move down. It is an interesting theory, but as a club were we likely to spend our hard-earned money on Matt Green and if we were, would he turn us down?

Green is a striker of some pedigree, making his name in the Conference first with Oxford and latterly in the same Mansfield team as Matt Rhead. In his younger days he was really quick, and 54 goals in two seasons for the Stags highlighted his potential. That form prompted Birmingham City to sign him, but he had a miserable two years there, not really having a sniff of regular football.

He re-joined Mansfield in May 2015, scoring 16 times last season, and finishing as their top scorer this season with 13 goals. He’s played 49 times this season for Mansfield and his release has surprised many onlookers. It has particularly surprised those who believe he was the subject of a bid from City, especially as the rumour was £100k.

Depending on the timing of the bid, it does seem likely we were in for him. He’s 30 which is one element that doesn’t fit, Danny likes younger players especially if he’s paying money for them. That said he also likes a goal scorer, and it is the one area we’ve looked a bit shy. If the bid was before Lee Angol then maybe the rumour holds some weight, especially given that £100k figure coming up again as it did with Angol. Green can score goals at League Two level as well as our level, and I could see sense in a bid for him. If we’d lured the leading scorer of a League Two side to Sincil Bank it would (at the time) have been a real coup.

I could also see why Green may have turned us down. Having been at Birmingham he probably feels a drop to the non-league scene was risky, especially as we’d won nothing then. He would have gambled his Football League career on us winning the title, and that is some risk to take. He was getting regular first team football at Field Mill, he perhaps felt he could earn a new contract. He couldn’t, we’ve got promoted and his gamble could have paid off had he taken it.

There will be no shortage of takers for Green, but even if we were interested I doubt very much we’ll go in for him now. All being well we will have Lee Angol with us next season, and I doubt we will attract an up and coming player averaging a goal every two games as well as a 30-year old who has just been released by Mansfield Town, despite knowing where the goal is.