Charlton Athletic manager Dean Holden has responded to rumours regarding moves for Ipswich Town midfielder Idris El Mizouni and Cheltenham Town’s highly sought-after striker Alfie May, in a post-match interview with South London Press.
The Addicks’ pre-season campaign got off to a flier yesterday as goals from Sam Lavelle, Karoy Anderson, Zach Mitchell and Charlie Kirk secured a 4-0 win over Welling United.
The Londoner’s are preparing for another season in League One, with promotion quietly being targeted after three seasons in England’s third tier.
After shipping 66 goals last season – the highest in the top half of the table – Charlton have looked to build from the back this summer and have already brought in goalkeeper Harry Isted and defender Lloyd Jones, although other positions remain on the agenda.
There has been links to both El Mizouni and May over the past few weeks, both who are drawing interest from a host of EFL clubs.
22-year-old El Mizouni enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Leyton Orient and was a key part of the side which secured the League Two title. Another temporary spell away from Ipswich is on the cards and Charlton are thought to be keen alongside the likes of Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers.
May is a little bit more tricky and various reports claimed earlier this week that Gillingham are the frontrunners for the prolific striker, who scored 22 goals for Cheltenham Town last season. That news does come as a bit of a shock though, with the Gills currently occupying a position in the league below.
What has been said?
Speaking after yesterday’s pre-season win, Dean Holden was understandably reluctant to confirm any speculation linking Charlton with the duo. Speaking first about El Mizouni, the former Bristol City boss said;
“Did they officially comment on that, as a club? Of course, you’re not going to expect me to talk about other clubs’ players, are you?
“But there are good conversations ongoing with players you believe have got a profile, in terms of mobility, that can help us next season.”
When pushed further about May, he continued;
“I can’t talk about these players – it’s disrespectful. I’d hate to come away from here and see other managers have spoken about one of our players. I think that’s disrespectful. It’s the wrong thing to do. It just adds to the hype. We’re working very diligently and quietly in the background.”
Charlton have already looked to plug a gap at the back after leaking so many goals last season, although more additions will be targeted before the League One season kicks off next month. Both El Mizouni and May would be shrewd acquisitions, but it does appear as if they have lost the battle for the latter.
Things in football can change very quickly though, and Charlton have reportedly made a bid for the Cheltenham striker. Although Holden has refused to comment further, one can assume that the bid remains on the table.