Cherries: Mitchell bats away bids for star trio
CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell insisted any potential sales would have to suit Cherries and the player after revealing he had rejected offers for Jason Pearce, Danny Ings and Rhoys Wiggins. Cherries look set for a battle to retain their prized assets this summer after Mitchell confirmed interest in the coveted trio intensified over the weekend, as revealed exclusively on the Daily Echo website. The Cherries chief, who has so far resisted offers for the club's leading lights since the end of the season, reported that Barnsley were the latest outfit to fall short with an offer for captain Pearce. Portsmouth, Pearce's former club who hold a 50 per cent sell-on clause over the centre-half, are also said to have made a verbal enquiry about the 23-year-old. Striker Ings, as first reported by the Daily Echo earlier this month, is a target for Fulham. Mitchell revealed the Premier League outfit had made an attractive offer but had not met Cherries' valuation of the talented teenager. Wiggins, who handed in a transfer request in March, is being chased by League One rivals Charlton. The Addicks' latest bid, believed to be their second, was rejected. However, the Londoners could yet come back in with an improved offer for the highly-rated left-back. Mitchell, who declined to disclose the financial details of the three bids, told the Echo: We can't stop offers coming in. We have got to listen to all the clubs and agents that are coming forward with offers. To date, none of the offers have suited our valuations of the players. As we haven't put them on the market to sell, I am desperately trying to keep the squad together, but I've got to meet players' expectations. My advice to all the players here has been to stick together and achieve as much as we can at the club, but I can't stop them wanting to move on when there are Premier League and Championship clubs bidding for them. I can't help them being desirable. Their success last season is causing a bit of unrest but we have got to go out and look to strengthen the squad and that is what we are doing at the moment. Mitchell added: We are going to try to resist them but if the bids are that attractive to the players and to the club, then we have got to be sensible and do business. But they have got to be attractive to both the player and the club. We haven't gone out and advertised our players people have come to us. We have to listen to the bids but that is not to say we have got to accept them. If it proves to be good business for the club and the player, then we have got to be realistic. But at this moment in time, our main interest is to strengthen the squad, find a replacement for Danny Hollands, try to capture the form we had at the end of last season, and gear up every way possible to do that. Meanwhile, star winger Marc Pugh is also understood to be attracting attention, with Burnley and Leeds said to be among those watching the Lancastrian.
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