Swindon Town are eyeing a move for Lincoln City outcast Jack Payne, as reported by Alan Nixon.
Payne scored twice in 30 outings for Michael Appleton’s Lincoln last season, but fell out of favour after Christmas and only appeared a handful of times as the season wound down. The 25-year-old is under contract at the LNER Stadium, but is likely to be allowed to move on a free transfer if Swindon can match his wage demands.
Payne started his career at Southend United, scoring 17 goals in 88 games for the Shrimpers. That attracted the attention of Championship side Huddersfield Town, who signed him in 2016.
He was a part of the Terriers’ side promoted to the Premier League, but fell out of favour as they made their way into the top flight. He had a loan spell with Swindon’s bitter rivals Oxford United, as well as helping Blackburn Rovers to promotion from League One. His stint at Bradford City saw the Bantams relegated, and his 2019 was made worse with his Huddersfield release.
He was a marquee signing for Lincoln last summer but fell out of favour after Danny Cowley left the club. He is the third Lincoln player to be linked with Swindon, following in the footsteps of Ellis Chapman and Tom Pett, both who left The Imps in the summer.
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Payne looked great for Lincoln in the early part of the season, but after the manager change his form dropped off. He did score twice for the club, both times away from home, and as the new manager made his mark Payne drifted out of contention.
He’s got League One quality, but he needs a manager who is going to have time and patience with him, as well as a system which suits his unique skillset. If he is available for free, he could be a wise acquisition by the Robins.