Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists new recruit Frankie Kent was always the club’s number one target to partner fellow summer signing Mark Beevers at the heart of the defence next season.
Kent (23) became the eighth Posh signing of the summer when signing a three-year contract after Posh agreed a ‘substantial’ undisclosed transfer fee with League Two Colchester.
Kent turned down a late bid from a Championship club, believed to be Grant McCann’s Hull City, who tried to hijack the deal.
It had been thought Posh switched their attentions to Kent after failing to land Oldham centre-back George Edmundson, who has now signed for Rangers.
But MacAnthony explained: “Frankie was always our number one target.
“We were alerted to his quality in January and before the end of the season our manager watched him three times.
“We liked what we saw and we made enquiries to Colchester about his likely availability. They understandably didn’t want to discuss it as they were in a promotion race, but Frankie’s agent suggested he would be seeking a Championship club when his contract at the end of next season ran out.
“We parked it, tried to sign the other guy, but when his club started messing us about we asked again about Frankie hoping he would be able to see us as a Championship club in the future.
“We agreed a fee with Colchester and the player came to see us. He asked for 48 hours to think it over and in that time a Championship club with a new manager came in for him offering him and Colchester more money.
“To their credit Colchester let the player decide and he chose us even though were offering about 60% lower wages.
“He liked what he had heard from us and he wants to get into the Championship with us which was wonderful to hear.
“To be fair the player, his agent and the Colchester chairman were superb to work with, unlike the people at the other League Two club we tried to do business with.”