Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has revealed he has a hit-list of 22 Football League players with which to bolster his promotion-chasing squad.
In an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire today (January 5) MacAnthony insisted contigency plans are very firmly in place should Posh lose any of their star players in the January transfer window.
In-form striker Conor Washington and attacking midfielder Marcus Maddison are understood to have been the subject of recent interest from Championship clubs.
“I was involved in a five-hour meeting of minds with the manager (Graham Westley) and Barry Fry (director of football) re January transfers. We discussed our own targets and we discussed what we would do if we lost any of our players.
“Trust me we have plans A, B and C in place. We have a hit list of the 22 best young players in the Football League who we will target if we have to. We have options for every position.
“When you are the top scorers in the Football League and you play great, attacking football in teh right way, it’s inevitable there will be interest in your players.
“I woke up in the States on Thanksgiving Day to three bids for one of players. It suggested to me there would be a bidding melee for him, but I turned all the bids down anwyay.
“Are we going to lose Conor Washington for instance? I can’t honestly answer yes or no. I’m comfortable either way. He certainly doesn’t have to be sold and Conor is such a level-headed lad it won’t affect him one way or the other.
“Players are always going to leave to balance our books, but we have good plans in place no matter who we lose.
“But during the game at Sheffield United on Saturday I took a phone call from an agent of a player who we have been tracking for 12 months. This player wants to join us. We are his first choice because he knows what we do with young strikers.
“We improve them and we sell them on. He wants to be the next Dwight Gayle, the next Britt Assombalonga or even the next Conor Washington. And all credit by the way to the manager and to Grant McCcann (assistant manager) for turning Conor into a lethal weapon.
“There is no better striker in the country than Conor at the moment, Goals have been added to his pace. His continued evolution will be exciting and it would be great to see him at the Euros in the summer (he is eligible for Northern Ireland).
“We are definitely looking to strengthen the squad and we will also be letting players go. Some of the younger players will be heading out on loan and the transfer-listed players who are injured will be moved on when fit.
“We have to be careful with the players we bring in. We have a very good, tight-knit squad here. There is a great spirit. We don’t want a bloated squad with players who are unhappy because they are not getting a game.
“We’ve already recruited well. We have a great relationship with West Ham which has enabled us to keep Martin Samuelsen on loan until the end of the season. West Ham don’t try and tell us what we should do with Martin because they know we treat young players very well. He is now one more talented young player in a squad full of talented young players.
“We have Lawrie Wilson on loan for a month, and that could become a longer stay, and we have signed Jordan Nicholson.
“There are exciting times ahead for sure.”
MacAnthony also believes that Maddison will one day play for a top five/six club in the Championship. He also criticised Premier League clubs for wasting money on foreign players when there is so much available talent in the Football League in deals that would work out much cheaper.