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Archived News from January 2023

BRISTOL POST:MANSFIELD INTERESTED IN ALFIE KILGOUR
6th January 2023 21:20


Exeter City among three EFL clubs interested in signing Bristol Rovers stalwart
bristolpost.co.uk, By James Piercy, Sports Editor, 4 JAN 2023

Bristol Rovers defender Alfie Kilgour has fallen down the centre-back hierarchy and looks set to leave his boyhood club this month


Exeter City plus League Two Mansfield Town and Colchester United are the clubs to have shown an early interest in signing Alfie Kilgour from Bristol Rovers, Bristol Live understands, as Joey Barton looks to tweak and upgrade his squad this month.

Barton admitted at the end of December that Kilgour, who joined Rovers' academy when he was eight, could be moving on from the Gas having made just five starts all season and with the need to reinforce his defence over the second half of the campaign.

The centre-back is the longest-serving player at the club having made 119 appearances since his debut in March 2019, but after an injury-riddled season in 2021/22 has found opportunities limited following the loan arrivals of Lewis Gibson and Bobby Thomas.

With six months still on his contract signed in 2020, the Rovers academy product’s potential exit this month will not only allow him to try and win more first-team opportunities elsewhere, as his promising career has stalled in BS7, but also free up some salary space for Barton to bring in new players.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/bristol-rovers-exeter-city-signing-7993541

Kilgour and midfielder Zain Westbrooke, who joined in the same summer of Kilgour’s renewal and also remains on a good League One contract, are the obvious expendable members of Barton’s squad as they have been on the periphery throughout 2022/23.

Although creating salary space is an intention this month, Rovers’ preference is for a sale, and with Exeter City and at least one other League One club interested, the Gas believe they can extract some kind of fee for the 24-year-old. Although whether that is possible with the centre-back a free agent this summer remains to be seen.

Kilgour’s preference would be to remain in League One but, equally, the defender just wants to play regular first-team football and a promotion candidate in League Two, such as Mansfield could also appeal should terms be agreeable. Coincidentally, home to former Gas stalwart OIlie Clarke who is captain of the Stags.

Nigel Clough’s side, the Grecians and Colchester have all made their interest known with other suitors also set to come to light as the situation develops and clubs assess their needs and what is possible over the next four weeks.

Although Kilgour’s potential exit would leave Barton a defender light, he has already confirmed he wishes to add at least one player in that area of the field and it’s become increasingly apparent that the Bath-born defender isn’t in his plans for the starting XI.

As has been the case throughout the three transfer windows under Barton and head of football operations Eddy Jennings, Rovers’ desire is to emerge at the end of the window in a stronger state than when they entered it with designs on a play-off bid.

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