DEAN KEATES played down speculation linking him with Manny Smith – but admits the centre-back would be an excellent addition to the squad.
Smith joined Wrexham in the summer of 2014 following a successful trial and he made 90 league appearances for the Reds before he was released by then-manager Gary Mills at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Gateshead snapped up Smith on a two-year contract but the 28-year-old has been linked with a return to The Racecourse, although Keates would not be drawn on whether his former team-mate will be re-signing.
“I have heard about how much Manny is getting linked with us and stuff like that,” said Keates.
“Manny is Manny, I think any club in the division would want Manny in their team.
“There is a lot of noise about it but it would be wrong for me to speak regarding somebody else’s player.”
Keates is revamping his squad ahead of a 10th campaign in non-league and he has already made six new signings this summer with James Hurst, Shaun Pearson, James Jennings, Chris Holroyd, Sam Wedgbury and Christian Dibble all joining Wrexham.
The Reds’ boss revealed he has agreed terms with two other targets and is set to announce the signings this week.
“We are up into double figures now that a couple more have committed,” said Keates,
“It is a case of them being announced soon and I expect two new signings to be announced this week.”
Keates, who has Mark Carrington, Leo Smith, Paul Rutherford, Chris Dunn and Olly Marx under contract going into the 2017-18 campaign, is delighted to have completed so many signings at this stage of the close season.
“We did a lot of them early to get them in the building and they are here,” said Keates.
“They all know the script what is expected of them through the summer, they have got their programmes and when they are due back and when pre-season starts.
“We are happy with what we have added so far, more than happy if I am being honest, are there will be a few more coming in over the next few weeks.”
Targets have been made offers but Keates refuses to be downbeat if he misses out on players.
“We are working away tirelessly,” said Keates. “As it stands at the moment players have still got plenty of options and they are still getting paid by other clubs.
“As time ticks on and players’ options kind of dwindle down, players get a little bit more panicky.
“We are just one of a number of clubs competing for players.
“We have put our best case forward and made contract offers, if we can get them in we get them in.
“If not, there are other options and we will go elsewhere.”
Keates insists he will not wait too long for answers from players he would like to bring to The Racecourse.
“We have got a couple of more offers out there but as it has been in the past, they don’t always work out,” added Keates.
“Players want to take their time but we leave a timescale on what we are offering because if it drags on too long, our other options might go elsewhere.
“With our recruiting and what we have looked at, we have always gone with a couple of players for every single position we are looking at.
“I put two offers out at a time so whoever comes back first I am more than happy to have in the building.”
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