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James Alabi, ex-Blue on move, Wrexham exit, Macc signing, Pools strife

All the latest transfer news involving Chester FC's league rivals

Ex-Chester FC defender Ryan Higgins has signed for league rivals Torquay United(Image: Terry Marland)

It's not the first time we've kicked off our weekly round-up of summer incomings and outgoings in the Vanarama National League by writing this...

... but it's been another busy and productive week for Chester FC with the signing of Lathaniel Rowe-Turner swiftly being followed by the return of Kingsley James .

There's still seven weeks to go until the start of the new season but, so far at least, few clubs have strengthened as impressively as Chester have done.

But that hasn't stopped supporters speculating whether there could yet be a return for last season's top-scorer...

James Alabi

Alabi, like the rest of us, will no doubt have been impressed by the business Blues boss Jon McCarthy has conducted; maybe even enough to give him second thoughts about his decision to reject the contract put to him.

But that ship looks to have sailed with McCarthy having assembled a brand new forward line and, in all likelihood, having used up most of the money he has been given to spend in the summer.

Indeed, any compensation that the club will be owed for Alabi may well go to help fill the gaps - back-up goalkeeper, versatile defender - that remain in the revamped Chester squad.

So where is the newly capped England C international likely to be playing his football next season?

Chester FC striker James Alabi is set to leave the club this summer(Image: Terry Marland)

There were strong rumours it would be Dagenham & Redbridge .

But this week the Daggers signed Michael Cheek on a two-year contract from relegated Braintree Town.

They beat promoted Lincoln City to the signature of the striker who scored 19 goals in 44 league games last season.

And that ironically could mean Lincoln turning to Alabi, as has previously been speculated .

It's certainly a situation to keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, veteran frontman Paul Benson has left Dagenham to sign for Boreham Wood .

Torquay United

They may have lost Rowe-Turner but Torquay have bolstered their full-back options with the signing of former Blues right-back Ryan Higgins from Southport.

The Gulls, as expected, have completed a deal for Grimsby Town defender Josh Gowling, too.

And they have also brought in striker Jon-Paul Pittman from Harrogate Town, and tied defender Myles Anderson down to a new contract.

But leaving Plainmoor is goalkeeper Brendan Moore. He's joined League One Rochdale.

Wrexham

Very much like Alabi, Wrexham long gave up hope of keeping Curtis Tilt.

And his departure has now been confirmed with the defender signing a two-year deal with League Two play-off winners Blackpool.

Barrow AFC

Barrow owner Paul Casson has spoken after a summer of exits at Holker Street.

Rochdale have snapped up Jordan Williams while Paul Turnbull and Ross Hannah have made the move to Chester.

That means the Cumbrians have so far just 10 players under contract for next season.

And that number could decrease with an unnamed League One club having had an offer turned down for full-back Nick Anderton and there being interest in forward Richie Bennett from clubs in League Two.

But Texas-based Casson said: "If the supporters are getting a little antsy, well we don't have a game yet for a couple of months, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. When it is all configured, I think they will see there is a method to the madness."

Casson also had his say on the departures of Hannah and Turnbull: "Both of them are great guys, absolutely perfect, but they weren't really in Paul Cox's plans for next year. It was not about saving money, absolutely not."

Macclesfield Town

Macclesfield fans, like their Barrow counterparts, have seen their fair share of exits this summer, most notably to the Blues, with James following the path of John McCombe and Andy Halls .

But the tide has begun to turn with left-back David Fitzpatrick having now penned the one-year contract he agreed last week and, of this lunchtime, the re-signing of goalkeeper Shawn Jalal following his departure from Wrexham .

Hartlepool United

It had also been a positive week for relegated Hartlepool United, what with the eye-catching signing of Plymouth Argyle winger Ryan Donaldson, the decision of Carl Magnay to pen a new contract, and the news that the club's ground will once again be known as Victoria Park following a £240,000 sponsorship deal with local company Utility Alliance.

However, the departure of popular physio Ian Gallagher, the club's longest-serving employee, has been axed, has not gone down well at all.

The decision had nothing to do with Pools' Saughall -based new manager Craig Harrison. Instead it was made by chairman Pam Duxbury, who has since issued a statement, which can be read in full HERE .

Craig Harrison has made five signings since taking over Hartlepool United from The New Saints(Image: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Meanwhile, midfielder Luke George has been talking about his decision to turn down a new deal at Chester and join Hartlepool .

George said: "I'm very excited to have got the deal done. This is a massive club. It's a big opportunity for me. The gaffer has been manager at TNS and lives in Chester, where I've been playing. I don't know him personally, but I've had a brief chat on the phone with him and he said all the right things.

"He wants to rebuild the club and get Hartlepool back in the Football League. That is something I want to do, I want to be a Football League player. I have vast experience of the National League, something he understands he needs and was looking to bring in."

Sutton United

Sutton have done some good business this summer but they have been dealt a blow by the news that midfielder Roarie Deacon, the star of their stunning run to the FA Cup fifth round, has signed for Scottish Premiership outfit Dundee on a two-year contract.

Defender Ben Jefford, meanwhile, has been released by mutual consent.

Best of the rest

FC Halifax Town midfielder Jordan Sinnott has completed his anticipated move to League Two's Chesterfield.

Dover Athletic have plugged one of the many gaps in their departure-hit squad with the signing of defender Manny Parry from Braintree. However, Sam Magri is tipped to become the latest player to leave the Whites, with Football League outfits circling.

Guiseley have brought in Newport County goalkeeper Joe Green and confirmed the release of Joel Logan, Javan Vidal and former Chester City favourite Derek Asamoah.

Midfielder Jack Byrne has left Solihull Moors , Tranmere Rovers winger Darren Stephenson has joined Stockport County, while midfielder Charlie Charter has put pent to paper on a new deal with Woking .

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