CHARLTON Athletic have made the first move in the race to sign Barnsley striker Chris O’Grady, but must fend off significant rival Championship interest to land him.
The Addicks, who narrowly avoided relegation to League One in 2013-14, have become the first to show their hand in the bidding to sign O’Grady by tabling an offer in the region of £500,000.
But it is understood that two or three other Championship clubs are also in the hunt to sign the forward, top-scorer with 15 goals last term, with others monitoring developments.
Millwall are one club known to also be keen on signing O’Grady, who also interested Huddersfield Town last summer before joining Barnsley for an undisclosed fee from near neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.
The 28-year-old signed a two-year deal at Oakwell last June, which runs out next summer. With the financial damage caused by relegation to the Reds estimated to be around £6m, the Oakwell outfit are seeking to cut costs, while being mindful of the Salary Cap Management Protocol, which only allows League One clubs to spend 60 per cent of their turnover on wages.
Despite recently announcing that 14 players would leave the club when their deals run out at the end of next month, the future of several contracted players who are among their higher earners, such as O’Grady, also appears to be uncertain with the Reds seeking to tighten their belts following relegation.
One player offered a new deal, Stephen Dawson, has turned down fresh terms, while the Reds are waiting to hear back this week from representatives of another midfielder offered a new contract, Jim O’Brien.
Doncaster Rovers director of football Brian Flynn is emerging as the frontrunner for the vacant managerial post at Blackpool.
The 58-year-old Welshman is one of six candidates who Pool chairman Karl Oyston has spoken to since starting his managerial search following the departure of Barry Ferguson three weeks ago.
Flynn was overlooked for the permanent Rovers post last summer, instead taking up his current role as director of football.
In a separate development, out-of-contract Rovers defender Gabriel Tamas has joined Watford.