Posh - Payne is a Gills target

Jack Payne in action for Posh last season.
Jack Payne in action for Posh last season.
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Posh midfielder Jack Payne could make a surprise return to former club Gillingham.

It’s understood Payne, who skippered Posh last season, is keen on a move back to Kent after being placed on the transfer list six weeks ago.

Posh director of football Barry Fry revealed that there has been communication between the clubs, but no bids have been made.

“Gillingham have been in touch,” Fry admitted. “And we arranged to meet at the Football League conference in Portugal last week to talk more, but they didn’t come over in the end. We want money for Jack which might be a stumbling block.”

Payne is one of seven players transfer-listed by Posh at the end of last season.

Fry has received inquiries about all of them apart from striker Kyle Vassell.

“There are three Championship clubs and a League Two side interested in Joe Newell, and we have rejected two bids from League One and League Two sides for Christian Burgess.

“Seven clubs are after Shaun Brisley, but five of them are based in the south and he wants to go back up north.

“Two clubs want to take Luke James on loan for a season, but we haven’t agreed a loan fee yet, while Kane Ferdinand’s agent is holding up a potential move.”

Posh would prefer to loan out striker James in the hope of recovering some of his £500k transfer fee from Hartlepool in the future.

They expect fees for the other players on the transfer list.

Fry also revealed that he is close to completing two permanent Posh signings.

One of the targets is a centre-forward and the other is an ‘excellent, exciting winger’, according to Fry.

First-team Posh boss Dave Robertson returned from a family holiday yesterday so the transfers could be rubber-stamped in a matter of days.