DEAN KEATES does not expect to finalise his squad before Wrexham return for pre-season at the back end of next week.

Keates has already completed eight new signings this summer with Christian Dibble, James Hurst, James Jennings, Shaun Pearson, Manny Smith, Sam Wedgbury, Jack Mackreth and Chris Holroyd arriving at The Racecourse.

Five players – Chris Dunn, Mark Carrington, Leo Smith, Paul Rutherford and first year pro Olly Marx remain from last season’s squad.

Keates admits he would like to go into the 2017-18 campaign with around 18 or 19 players in his squad but he will not have that many bodies signed up when Wrexham report back from pre-season training next Friday.

“I wouldn’t have thought it will all be complete,” said Keates. “Probably through choice if anything.

“I want to be getting up towards the 15 or 16 mark and probably leave one or two spots open just to see what happens through pre-season.

“There might be somebody who you might not be able to get at this moment in time but come July, they haven’t got as many options as they thought they had and they are looking around.”

Keates, preparing for Wrexham’s 10th season in non-league which kicks off on Saturday August 5, believes there will still be targets available that he would like to sign as time goes on.

“I have been speaking to other people who have been in this situation before,” said Keates.

“They said they have gone and done their squad early and then realised that they could have probably got better options.

“There is a good chance we will leave one or two spaces open anyway.”

But Keates is hoping to announce more signings before new-look Wrexham, with coach Carl Darlington also back on board after joining from The New Saints, start pre-season in nine days time.

“I would like to think that there are definitely going to be one or two more in place before we report back on the Friday,” said Keates.

Keates is waiting for answers from four targets who have been offered deals.

Pleased with how the defence is shaping up, Keates is looking to add more firepower to his squad and is hoping for positive decisions from players before the weekend.

“We have got offers out there, we are just waiting,” said Keates.

“I think centre-forwards have a lot more options as everybody is chasing them and they are more attacking players.

“But as I have stated in the past, we have a timescale on things so we will see how it goes towards the weekend.

“If not, we will look elsewhere.”

Keates insists all four players he would like to bring in remain available and he has not missed out on any of them.

“They are all still possibilities so we will just wait and see,” said Keates. “There are people away at this time of the year on holiday as well and that has been a bit of a stumbling block.

“But you get into next week and a lot of teams start coming back for pre-season towards the end of the week.”

Although keen to add to bring in more strikers, Keates revealed that one of the four players is a midfielder.

“It is more attacking options and a couple of them are strikers,” added Keates.

“There is one midfield player as part of the four and the others are all more attacking.

“I am happy with how everything has gone so far, we have got a good spine across the back four and options in midfield.”