Imps interest cools in 14-goal forward as price rises

Credit Graham Burrell

The Imps interest in 22-year-old Irish striker Lee Bonis has called according to Alan Nixon, as Portadown and the Imps couldn’t agree on a fee.

Bonis, who bagged 14 goals for his side last season, was thought to be a target for the Imps, but as the new season draws near, it appears our interest has cooled. Nixon reports that the fee went up, and we weren’t willing to go up with it. It does make you wonder if Portadown were pushing for more money than previously thought, and we’ve balanced the need for recruits in other areas with the risk of signing a player unproven in the English leagues.

Bonis is already capped at Under 21 level by Northern Ireland and has been on trial with Burnley but they recently ended their interest, leaving us to pursue the forward. The striker, who turns 22 today, has been working as a roofer in Coleraine whilst turning out for Portadown. On their official website, Bonis is described as “an exciting young striker,” who “has a knack for finding the net but has tireless work rate off the ball and loves to close down opposition defenders and win the ball high up the pitch”.

Still hunting a striker – Credit Graham Burrell

That promise has to be balanced with a degree of sense when it comes to spending money, and if the price keeps rising then we’re not likely to be held to ransom. Michael admitted to me yesterday he would like to sign another striker, (I think he said ‘doesn’t everyone’ at the same time), and Bonis would fit the bill. However, since our initial interest, Freddie Draper has emerged from the youth team and earned himself a full-time deal. Are we doubling down on our homegrown talent and waiting for an addition that makes more financial sense?

Of course, Portadown could be playing hardball as they try to attract another buyer, maximising their asset’s value, which is the best thing for them. Some might say it’s a football club being greedy, but we’d expect the same if we were looking to sell one of our own exciting homegrown players, would we not? They simply want the best price they can get for their player and that’s simple football economics. It’s not like there’s a greedy agent in the background scuppering a deal so he can buy himself a new Audi or whatever the bad agents spend their money on these days.

It doesn’t sound like a deal for Lee Bonis is unachievable, and it might be interesting to see what happens as the transfer window draws near if Portadown haven’t found a buyer.