Blackpool boss Simon Grayson has been playing down reports linking in-form striker Armand Gnanduillet with a move away from Bloomfield Road and confirmed the Seasiders had been in touch with the Frenchman’s agent over a new deal.
Gnanduillet is out of contract in the summer, prompting speculation he will leave the club with Derby County and Charlton Athletic both thought to be interested.
Indeed, reports suggest Charlton came close to landing the forward in the summer only for the deal to fall through at the last minute and are set to reignite their pursuit amid suggestions they are bracing themselves for offers for Lyle Taylor in January.
The twenty-seven-year-old has already netted twelve times in all competitions so far this campaign and thirty-seven goals in total since arriving at Bloomfield Road from Leyton Orient in January 2016.
Blackpool manager Simon Grayson admitted he was not surprised his big attacker was receiving interest from Championship clubs when he spoke to the Blackpool Gazette. However, he revealed the club is under no pressure to sell any of its prize assets under the new ownership of Simon Sadler. He said: ‘I would think any player that is playing well and is scoring goals will get interest.’
‘We’re looking at players all the time, but financially we won’t have to sell him – that is what Simon Sadler is saying about all our players.
‘We’ll do what is right for the football club, but it’s pure speculation at this time.’
‘No-one from Derby or Charlton has rung me yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.’
Grayson then went on to add the speculation may have come from the player’s agent and revealed the club had made an initial contract with Gnanduillet representatives over a new deal. ‘Maybe it’s an agent just playing a bit of early transfer business when we’ve still got six weeks to go.’
Regarding a new contract, Grayson added: ‘I think the club have mentioned it to his agent, so we’ll just see where that one goes.’
Gnanduillet missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Ipswich Town and looks set to miss tomorrow’s EFL Trophy second-round tie at home to Scunthorpe United after picking up a knock in his two-goal performance against Wimbledon ten days ago.
Grayson was hoping he’d be fit for the visit of non-league Maidstone United in the FA Cup on Sunday but stressed the club was taking good care of the striker to ensure a quick return doesn’t backfire and end up prolonging his absence.
It will be music to Blackpool fans ears that the club has made contact with their leading scorer over a new contract.
If they manage to keep Gnanduillet, they have a real chance of making the playoffs, and from Grayson’s comments, if his Championship suitors want him, they will not get him on the cheap.