Chester FC expect 'significant fee' for James Alabi as move 'gets closer'

Published date: 06 July 2017 |
Published by: Charlie Croasdale
Read more articles by Charlie Croasdale

James Alabi 

JON MCCARTHY expects Chester to pocket a 'significant fee’ for out-of-contract striker James Alabi as he moves closer to joining a new club.

Tranmere Rovers are understood to be leading the race to sign the 22-year-old forward, who bagged 17 goals for Chester last season, after he rejected an improved contract offer from the Blues in the close season.

McCarthy believes the deal is ‘close’ and hopes a fee can be agreed between Chester and Alabi’s next destination, in order to avoid a tribunal.

“I’ve spoken to James, I think it’s getting closer,” he said.

“There’s a fee due to us because of his clear development with us. James has said in the paper about what Chester have done for him and I’ve believed in him from day one.

"There’s a tribunal now if we can’t agree a fee and that should be significant for us. That would give us a lift in terms of being able to bring in a few more. Our board have been good though as they’ve allowed me to use some of the money to bring in the quality we’ve now got.

"James knows whichever club is in for him, get in touch with us and let’s sort a fee out. If not, I’d be very disappointed if the tribunal didn’t recognise the improvement we’ve seen in James.

“I wish him all the best. James has done everything asked of him here and we’ve given him that back and more.”

Chester are effectively ‘spent up’ for the time being, but any potential fee for Alabi could free up the cash to sign midfielder Lucas Dawson on a permanent basis.

Dawson, who arrived on a short-term deal in March, is currently training with Chester and McCarthy revealed he wants to offer the 23-year-old a new contract.

“I like Lucas, he knows that, he wants to sign and we want to sign him,” he explained. “It boils down to money, making funds available.

“The board have backed us but there’s a limit and they’ve stretched themselves so much already, putting every penny on that pitch. But they need to protect the club and are wary of what has happened in the past.

“If the Alabi deal is a significant sum then that should allow us to do something with Lucas. It’s great to see him training with us and having that belief.”

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