CHESTER are in talks with former Margate and Stevenage defender Sam Sodje, who looked good in the victory over ADO Den Haag on Wednesday.
Brother of Crewe's Nigerian international, Efe, he is out of contract at Margate and is keen to play full-time football. He has already been on a tour of Belgium with last season's Conference champions Yeovil, who decided not to offer him a contract.
But City manager Mark Wright was clearly impressed: 'When we played Margate away, he was outstanding,' he said following Wednesday's match. 'And we were impressed again with what he did tonight. He was very comfortable and did a lot of good things.
'He is big, athletic and strong. Sometimes he overdoes it a bit and I don't like that, but I could get that out of him.' City aren't short of central defenders, but Scott Guyett and Phil Bolland are currently on the injured list and Wright clearly believes you can't have too much quality. But the signing of Sodje may hinge on the City boss being able to off load at least one more player he considers surplus to requirements.
And there is a further complication in that department because it has been revealed that striker Dave Cameron has not, after all, signed for Conference newcomers Tam-worth.
'I haven't signed his release papers which means he is still a Chester player,' confirmed club secretary Tony Allen yesterday.
Another player Wright is keen to get on board before the season starts in earnest at Stevenage on August 9 is goalkeeper Ian McCaldon.
'He is a big, big lad and I am very impressed with him,' he said. 'If Wayne Brown was to go down in the Conference I would let them fight to be number one.'
The former Oxford United player had a brief spell on loan when Brown was injured last season and has been doing pre-season training with Chester. He was in Wednesday's squad against Den Haag but wasn't used.
Added Wright: 'There are a couple of things I would like to do and there are players here who may not get enough games this year and are not high in my plans.
'There is no hiding the fact that Adriano Rigoglioso (Morecambe) is one I want, and in our side he would be exceptional. If we could get him, it would be fantastic.
'We have been hunting for a big striker but we can't find one. There is someone I want to have a look at and when the boys play at Buckley on Saturday, maybe I won't be there.'
City have been giving trials to a number of players, including the former York and Huddersfield midfielder Tom Cowan, but of them all, Sodje seems the one most likely to get a contract.
After tomorrow's game at Buckley, Chester send a team to Droylsden on Monday, Connah's Quay on Tuesday and Flint Town United on Thursday.
They conclude their pre-season programme at Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, August 2 and Colwyn Bay on Monday, August 4. Chester's home game against Shrewsbury Town, scheduled for Monday, August 25, has been put back to the following evening at 7.45pm on police advice.