Carlisle United head coach Paul Simpson has been criticised by Bradford City boss Graham Alexander after his recent comments this week where he labelled the Bantams’ asking price for striker Jake Young as “ridiculous”.
The 22-year-0ld centre-forward was recently recalled to Valley Parade from his successful loan spell with League Two outfit Swindon Town, where he bagged 16 goals and recorded four assists in just 26 games in the first half of the 2023/24 campaign.
25 games, 16 goals, 4 assists for #STFC ✨
Thank you, Jake Young ❤️
— Swindon Town Football Club (@Official_STFC) January 2, 2024
Bradford manager Alexander admitted that Young would feature in his side upon returning from an injury issue. However, it was reported by journalist Alan Nixon that the player had garnered interest from League One sides Exeter City and Port Vale earlier in the winter window.
Furthermore, The Yorkshire Post provided an update on this transfer saga, revealing that both clubs “remain keen” to sign the prolific frontman before the January transfer market slams shut in less than two weeks.
Another club who retain an interest in Young’s services is relegation-threatened Carlisle United. Speaking to News & Star following Carlisle’s controversial 2-1 defeat away at Barnsley on Tuesday night, manager Simpson publicly declared his interest in the number ‘9’ but labelled Bradford City’s asking price as “ridiculous”.
Now, there has been a retaliation to Simpson’s comments. In an interview on Thursday evening with the Telegraph and Argus, Bantams boss Alexander hit back at the Carlisle United manager, calling his remarks “disappointing” [quotes via News & Star]:
“Plain and simple, it’s wrong.
“I spoke to them about him [Young] but I didn’t want to.
“I told him my thoughts on Jake, that I didn’t want to sell him. I couldn’t have been any clearer than that.
“It’s straight after the game [on Tuesday] and I know emotions can be high, I’ve been there myself, but there are certain things where it’s not an excuse,” he continued.
“It’s disappointing from my perspective because I spoke to the manager myself about Jake.
Alexander went on to hint that there was a hidden agenda behind Simpson’s public comments about letting the player know there was interest from Brunton Park.
“Is there an agenda behind it? Potentially, about letting a player know.
“I don’t think he has any right at all to set a price on any other team’s player, to be honest, so I didn’t really get where he was coming from.
“But I was quite clear with him in my conversation. We crack on.
“We’re all grown adults and it’s a country of free speech but that’s how it is.”
It will be very interesting to see whether Young stays at Valley Parade or ends up signing for a club in League One before the January window slams shut as there are reportedly three teams interested in snapping him up, one being Carlisle United.
Perhaps there was an essence of letting the player know there is interest from the third tier in Simpson’s comments, but it seems as though there was more frustration in his words than anything given Carlisle’s struggles this season and the fact that they desperately need a goalscorer up top. This is certainly a transfer saga worth following over the coming fortnight.