Chester City FC have warned Chesterfield they must vastly improve their offer for Kevin Ellison if they are to stand any chance of prising him away from the Deva Stadium.
Chester owner Stephen Vaughan last night branded the £15,000 bid the Spireites made for Ellison on Wednesday as “comical”, saying it fell too far below his valuation of the former Hull City forward.
Vaughan also assured fans that the club’s financial difficulties would not lead to them selling Ellison for a cut-price fee.
“An offer of £15,000 is comical,” said the Chester owner.
“Kevin’s at the peak of his career. He is not a player we would be actively looking to sell.”
But Vaughan added: “It would take a very big offer for me to even consider selling him. If Chesterfield want to revamp their bid, we’d give it careful consideration and we’d give the lad the opportunity to consider it.
“But if the money’s not right, Kevin Ellison will be staying where he is.”
Chesterfield are in the hunt for a forward following the sale of 16-goal hotshot Jamie Ward to Sheffield United earlier this week for a fee which could rise to £400,000.
The Spireites must now decide whether to test Chester’s resolve with a higher bid for Ellison, or turn their attentions elsewhere.
Ellison, who played for City in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Chesterfield, has been a first- team regular all season, bagging seven goals.
If the 29-year-old is sold, the cash generated from his transfer would most likely be put towards paying off the contracts of some of the fringe players Chester boss Mark Wright is looking to trim from his squad.
It would also help enable City to lift the transfer embargo which has been placed on them by the Football League for the late payment of certain players’ wages.
Among the players who have been told they do not feature in Wright’s plans are David Mannix, Paul Butler and Tony Dinning, who is back with Chester following a trial with Inverness. Striker/midfielder Eddie Johnson remains in negotiations with American side Austin Aztecs.
The January transfer window closes in just over a week’s time and Wright has drawn up a wanted list of players he will go for as soon as the embargo is lifted.
The Chester manager said: “We’re working every day to lift this embargo, to find investors to come in, to get players out so we can get players in.
“You’ve seen the ilk of players that I’ve always liked. When they come in, they’ll be strong, real good players and will lift us. These boys need a lift as well.”
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