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January Interest No Surprise to O'Neill
Thursday, 6th Feb 2020 15:14

Blues general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says it came as little surprise to him that there was plenty of interest in members of the Town squad during the January transfer window.

After the window closed on Friday O’Neill revealed that the Blues had turned down offers “into the millions” for players but with the only permanent exit Bartosz Bialkowski's departure for Millwall, where he had spent the first half of the season on loan.

“There were a number of players,” O’Neill said when asked about the bids. “There are reasons why I don’t say the players’ names or the clubs involved, I just don’t think that’s professional for the clubs involved. And also the ramifications for the players and the club.

“I was expecting a lot of interest anyway before the window because there’s naturally hype when players are playing well. You look at the scouts list, you look at people who are attending games and when you see them start to increase you don’t have to be a mathematician to work it out. The enquiries do come.

“But I will say it’s not just young players, it was all of our players because clubs do their homework and look at players who aren’t playing week in, week out, maybe players that we’ve purchased, maybe players that are coming back from injury and they’ll enquire about those players as well.”

Were there offers that owner Marcus Evans considered or were they all flatly turned down?

“I think you have to consider any offer that comes in, to give it the respect that it deserves, especially when there’s a lot of money involved,” O’Neill added.

“But going back to what our plan is and what we’re trying to achieve, it’s to try and keep player that we feel at the moment are doing well but have room for improvement and with the opportunity of being at the football club can help themselves and the club going forward.

“I don’t think you can entirely discount any kind of offer for a player, you have to weigh-up a number of options within that. For example, the fee that you can get, what you can actually do with it and who you can go out and purchase. Or whether you have a player coming underneath that can take their place.

“There are lots of different factors that you have to take into consideration. As well as myself, the manager and Marcus, there are lots of other people involved in that process as well.”

The players who were attracting most media interest in January were Flynn Downes, with Fulham and West Ham understood to be keen, and Luke Woolfenden, with Sheffield United and QPR believed to be among those interested.

Given their youth and current progress it might be expected that their values would increase from where they stand at present.

“If they continue the pathway that they’ve started then things will get better and obviously from a player’s point of view if they’re playing week in, week out and the team’s doing well and we’re at the top end of the league, then that’s also good for them and their development,” O’Neill continued.

“You’d like to think that’s the case. If you look at the market itself and you look at the transfers of players, there are certain key things that people are looking for and obviously some of the players we have fit those criteria.

“It’s going to be difficult but it’s a challenge that we want and they’re doing well for us at the moment. If you watch them Saturday-Tuesday there’s some players there that are doing very well.”

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BeattiesBackPocket added 15:55 - Feb 6
Oh just f*%k off! Just another Milne/Evans puppet! ‘We don’t like talking about bids from clubs or players’ but didn’t mind touting Bart off preseason telling all and sundry millwalls issue with him carrying an injury then he plays every game since and we sell him for half that price! Can people really not see the same speech every week or season? Another ‘plan’ we have in motion the same one that’s rehashed every season the 5 point/year plan starts every year I’m bored of all the spin. I’d much rather hear we turned down 4 million for this player than some crap that isn’t even probably true. He’ll soon be touting players about again post season as 4 or 5 derisory offers will come up and they will want to leave if we don’t go up! Don’t promise what you can’t keep just for once!!!!!

blues1 added 16:09 - Feb 6
Beattiesbackpocket. What the hell are you on about? We never touted bart off at all. We had 3 clubs interested in him, millwall made the 1st bid. He then failed the medical, so no1 else was then interested. We ended up with a loan agreement, which ended up with a permanent move. The fees from the loan and subsequent move would have ended up around the original fee agreed anyway so no, we didnt sell him on the cheap neither. And no, Oneill is not another Evan's puppet. Hes been with the club for some time, was an academy scholar some time ago. And is very well qualified for the various jobs he does at the club, including being the academy manager, and basically the director of football. Read his linked in page and you'll see, hes far from being another Clegg or Milne. I agree with what u say about the same things being said all the time, but what elsexare they supposed to say when asked the question? If you dont want the management of the club, the players saying anything then this site and all forms of media would have to cease, so no1 can ask the question in the 1st place. To be honest, I'm not sure why this story has been posted as it's almost a rehash of the post about his thoughts on the transfer window last week.

BeattiesBackPocket added 16:14 - Feb 6
Failed a medical went on loan fair enough then we sell for half the price after he has proven his fitness and been one of their players of the season!? You may be happy with underselling players I’m not not when we’re in debt! Brentford get 10000 gates but always make sure they get market value maupay 16 million waghorn 5 Webster 5 million year later 25 million I’m sick of him and Milne before coming out with it you may be ok with it all a lot of fans aren’t so. If he doesn’t talk about clubs and players when bidding etc why did he during the summer but not now!? Facts are he did then now it’s a secret probably because there were none

BeattiesBackPocket added 16:18 - Feb 6
That’s my point I’ve not seen one difficult interview posed to any of the hierarchy not every man anger can be rubbish if they are then who hired them! I don’t expect O’Neil to say anything different same as I didn’t McCarthy but he did when he left but obviously he has to go with the Evans script I get that and yes he is extremely qualified and yes he has the club at heart but he is still a puppet being paid by the owner he’ll say nothing against the owner and rightly so I don’t blame him it’s the club from the top stinks now and I saw nearly ten thousand fans show that with their feet leaving saturdays game early so it’s not just me getting fed up with it all

ITFCsince73 added 20:23 - Feb 6
O’Neil has been at the club some time.
When he failed miserably delivering 1 point of the 5 point plan.
He was moved on to other pointless tasks. Such as talking rubbish to the media.

markytitfc added 06:54 - Feb 7

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