Charlton Athletic Set For Transfer Battle For Prolific Striker

Charlton Athletic will battle League Two promotion hopefuls Wrexham for the signature of Peterborough United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, according to South London News.

The Addicks have completely fallen off the pace in their pursuit of a play-off place in League One in recent weeks. Their Boxing Day defeat against Leyton Orient extended their winless run to six games in all competitions and they now sit in 12th, 14 points behind Stevenage in the final play-off spot.

Manager Michael Appleton will not have given up on his goal of reaching the top six though, and January additions will be made to bolster his squad ahead of the second half of the season. Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris tops the bill after they failed to secure his services in the summer.

The Cambridgeshire outfit are keen to cash in next month in what would represent their final opportunity to generate a fee for the attacker, with his contract at London Road set to expire in the summer.

The 29-year-old came close to joining Bristol Rovers in the summer for a fee of £800,000, but the move fell through after the relevant paperwork failed to be submitted before the deadline. It was previously thought that the Gas would return to the fray in January, although the departure of manager Joey Barton has put an end to those plans.

Posh manager Darren Ferguson has been preparing for life without their talisman in recent weeks, and Clarke-Harris has been an unused substitute in each of their last five league games. Tonight’s visit of Barnsley looks to be his last farewell at the Weston Homes Stadium before the transfer window opens on Monday.

It is said that Charlton are lining up a move and should they be successful, they would surely hold the most formidable front two in the division. Summer signing Alfie May is the league’s joint-top goalscorer alongside Blackpool’s Jordan Rhodes and Appleton will be hoping that the pair will fire them back into the play-off hunt.

However, South London News claim there is ‘stiff competition’ from League Two’s Wrexham. Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are targeting back-to-back promotions and the Welsh outfit currently sit in second, four points behind leaders Stockport County, who have played a game more.

Clarke-Harris is set to be one of the most sought-after players in League One next month. Other clubs linked include Derby County, who sit just two points off the automatic places. Interestingly though, Peterborough are the team currently occupying that second spot and they may not want to sell to a direct promotion rival.

Writer’s View

It’s interesting to see Charlton linked with a player of the calibre of Jonson Clarke-Harris, especially because they already hold a top-class striker within their ranks in Alfie May. Signing the Peterborough man may represent a shift in tactics for Michael Appleton, who would have to find a way to fit both players into his starting lineup.

Alternatively, the former Rotherham United attacker may feel he needs a move where he is guaranteed a starting berth and where better than to write his name into Wrexham’s folklore? He is certainly a player that is too good for League Two, but he may fancy a temporary drop in divisions to help the Red Dragons secure a spot in League One next season.

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