Mansfield Town Boss Discusses Missing Out On “Number One Target”

Nigel Clough spoke of Mansfield Town‘s transfer plans heading into the next couple of weeks and last week’s failed attempt to re-sign Lewis Brunt.

The defender made 34 league appearances for The Stags on loan from Leicester City as they were promoted to League One automatically in third place. Clough stated that the 23-year-old was Mansfield’s “number one target” going into the summer transfer window.

Town had tabled a bid for the defender at the start of June, which was rejected by The Foxes. According to the Mansfield Chad, the club were still pursuing a deal for Brunt but it was unlikely due to the valuation the second division title winners had for the player.

Fellow promotion winners Wrexham snatched at the opportunity and signed the defender on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee last week, a price which Nigel Clough described as blowing Mansfield’s offer “out of the water”.

Starting on his side’s pre-season training, the 58-year-old spoke candidly to club media about the situation surrounding the deal, stating: “It was us and Peterborough United. We were neck and neck for his signature, I think we put an offer in that was slightly more than Peterborough’s.

“As is the way, Wrexham came in and blew us both out of the water and paid quite a bit more than the two of us had bid and in personal terms as well. The likes of us and Peterborough can’t compete with that.”

When asked if he was disappointed the move did not come through, the former Derby County boss added: “There’s nothing you can do about it. If you lose players for fifty quid or something like that, you think they’ve chose it for a particular reason.

“But when someone comes and blows you out of the water financially, there’s absolutely nothing you can do.”

Despite the setback, Mansfield Town have made moves in the transfer market, including the return of former Sheffield Wednesday striker Lee Gregory and Burton Albion midfielder Deji Oshilaja.

The Stags have also added cover in full-back with the signing of Swindon Town‘s Frazer Blake-Tracy, which saw Ollie Clarke move to The County Ground in return.

On what activity in the market can be expected going forward, Clough said: “We’re after another couple if possible. so we’ve made some enquiries and we’re just waiting. One’s a loan and one will be permanent and we will see where we are from there.”

Next season marks Mansfield’s return to the third tier following a 21-year absence and the first time since their promotion back into the Football League in 2013.

Writer’s View

Lewis Brunt would have been a perfect fit at Mansfield as seen by last season, so it must be difficult seeing him move to a direct league rival and not being able to do anything about it. Wrexham have been financially dominant over other clubs in League One and Two since the takeover, and with the prices they are throwing around will be comparable to fellow league heavyweights Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town.

Mansfield Town should still do alright despite missing a key player in their success last season. They still have hold of many of the squad that got them into the third tier and have tied many of them down, including George Maris, Lucas Akins and Stephen McLaughlin to new deals. Whilst they won’t be competing at the sharp end of the table, they will still be a tricky side to face and building a stable platform going into future seasons will be the aim for this upcoming campaign.

About Lewis Gray 160 Articles
1st Class Honours in Multimedia Journalism at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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