Having scoured the internet daily for the last month, I have begun to weed out the so-called clickbait sites from those that carry genuine news. As you can imagine, many of these sites link the Imps with players to encourage clicks on their pages.
One or two of these sites link us with players such as Kingsley James or Morgan Ferrier, based perhaps more on speculation than anything. I have brought some speculation to you, usually if it has already been reported in a local paper somewhere. Examples of this are Billy Waters and most recently Barrow striker Jordan Williams.
Today I find a rumour springing up from a site that falls somewhere in between. Teamtalk.com doesn’t encourage multiple clicks, but at the same time it isn’t an ‘in print’ newspaper and therefore may be more susceptible to printing scurrilous rumours with no basis.
They are today linking us with AFC Fylde striker James Hardy. Hardy is a former Manchester City youth player that had a great season alongside Danny Rowe at Fylde. He didn’t hit 50 goals, granted, but at 21-years of age he perhaps has more potential than Rowe, and he certainly has a football pedigree.
He has been talked about all season, twelve assists and eight goals will have that effect, especially at such a tender age. He has been linked with Fleetwood and Blackpool this season, but that could be purely based on geography. His recent ‘Young Player of the Season’ will of course interest suitors, and I imagine they will come from further than a 30 mile radius of Wesham.
He is still under contract at Fylde, he has just had an option for a year extension activated which means he would command a fee. I think it is highly unlikely that we would pay the sort of fee that Fylde would demand, after all they don’t need the money. Some reports have suggested they would ask for £500,000 which would absolutely 100% rule us out of any chase. I would believe that any six-figure sum would rule us out.
I don’t think Lincoln City will pay a transfer fee for a player, certainly not a big one for a player who played his football at the same level as Boston and Gainsborough last season. Elliott Whitehouse joined last season from that level, but I imagine with our step up comes a step up in the league we are targeting our players from.
I’ll perhaps give more weight to those rumours stated in local papers from now on!