Wrexham AFC boss Dean Keates up front on transfer targets


Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES is set to sign a striker and is running the rule over two more frontmen.

Keates is looking to bring in more firepower to boost Wrexham’s relegation battle and an attacker will be joining on loan until the end of the season, while two more are on trial.

“We should have one striker in and all being well one or two more are coming in for a couple of days for us to have a look at them,” said Keates. 

“One will be a loan until the end of the season so all being well that gets finalised. We got one in on trial yesterday and all being well another one coming in on trial today.”

Keates wants to add to his attacking options now that Gerry McDonagh has returned to parent club Nottingham Forest after completing his loan spell, while Shaun Harrad has not been offered a new deal.

McDonagh has been with Wrexham since the start of the season and scored five goals for the Reds in 21 league appearances, but the 18-year-old is leaving after Keates held talks with Championship side Forest.

“I have been speaking with Forest the last few weeks to see the situation,” said Keates.

“It was more of a favour why he was here  so we have just been waiting to see whether it would be the same kind of terms that they  would be looking at to extend it.

“I think maybe it was best for both parties. Gerry was looking a little bit tired towards the end and going back might freshen him up for the second half of the season to push on.”

Keates believes McDonagh, who scored twice when Wrexham beat then-leaders Forest Green Rovers 3-1 in November, has got a bright future.

“We thank him for his efforts, he has done well,” said Keates. “You need to remember he looks like a man but he is still only 18.

“Asking to push him week in, week out, I think we got as much out of him as we could but we’re grateful for what he gave us.

“The performance against Forest Green he was outstanding, they were his heights and the more he can push himself on at a young age and continue his development, he will go on to have a decent career.”

Experienced striker Harrad scored four goals after signing a short term contract in pre-season but the 32-year-old has not been offered a new deal as Keates wants to freshen up his squad to revive Wrexham’s fortunes and is operating with limited finances.

“Shaun has departed as well and I thank him for everything,” said Keates.

“A great pro and he is the kind of character that if he was on a longer term contract it wouldn’t have been a problem him still being around

 “But the bit of money that is spare I need to look to freshen it up and get fresh impetus in the changing room and take us forward.

“It was just unfortunate that there are players on longer term contracts that we couldn’t really shift and that was all I had to play with at this time.

“We will see what happens over the next few weeks regarding trying to shift one or two more out.”

Jordan Evans, like Harrad, signed until January after training with Wrexham in pre-season and Keates wants to keep the 21-year-old.

Evans came through the youth ranks at Wrexham and rejoined his hometown club following a spell at Fulham, and Keates is in talks with the player.

“We are looking at keeping Jordan, it is under negotiation so we will see what happens,” added Keates.

“Jordan is still training, I have spoken with him and his agent, and we look at trying to nail him down if we can agree terms.”

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