{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from January 2017

30th January 2017 20:53

Boss rebuffs media speculation on striker
mansfieldtown.net, 25th January 2017 afternoon

Manager Steve Evans earlier today refused to confirm reports that the Stags had tabled a £350,000 bid for Exeter City striker Ollie Watkins, following media speculation.

The manager revealed last week that he had submitted a bid of £300,000 for an un-named player as he looks to strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window.

Speaking at a news conference at One Call Stadium, the Stags' chief said: “Of course I cannot [confirm it]. Listen, you have private conversations on a regular basis with different managers and different players, and sometimes you get dismayed how they break, and this is just another one."

“I don’t want to talk about Exeter City other than their manager Paul Tisdale [who] is a manager that I really like and is doing a great job. I don’t want to talk about his players.”

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-rebuffs-media-speculation-on-striker-3537756.aspx#WtJTyVS435A2UaBw.99

On his continued £350,000 offer for the player who has not been revealed by Steve Evans, the manager said: "You can never say these things are 'dead'. I have a meeting with the chairman (John Radford and Carolyn [Radford, chief executive] tomorrow evening which will probably last a few hours. Ultimately, I will take his instruction."

The Stags’ boss has been busy during this transfer window to re-shape the squad and has also spoken about the productive conversations regarding further transfers with the above duo.

“The chairman and the CEO have been fantastic. They ring me more than I ring them [asking] have we got people out, have we added to the group?

“And the analyst [at the club] is probably not sleeping well; he was sending me the footage [of potential transfer targets] at about one o’clock in the morning. That is how hard we are all working to make sure that we can get the right players here for the supporters, and the supporters deserve a successful team.”

The 54-year-old says he is hopeful of adding to his squad before Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash against Leyton Orient. Speaking about an un-named player who is not subjected to the £350,000 bid, Evans said: “We would love to make it happen before Saturday, and we would like to get three or four [more players] before the transfer window slams shut, because there is no opportunity to do that after that, with the emergency loan market no more part of the thought-process.

“So [there will be] possibly one for Saturday, we would like to think that there is a chance. But we are working so hard, the chairman is working so hard, he has bent over backwards to make something happen for us.

“We have to make sure that we don’t add just any player, but they are good players, who add to the good group we have got. We just want to strengthen competition in three or four areas in the team.

“If they come in and they want to think that they can play, we want them to make the same impact as the loan boys have done [and] the permanent signings have done [such as] Joel Byrom and Ben Whiteman, because they are committed enough for the work.”

Supporters can view manager Steve Evans’ full news conference on Stags PlayerHD.


Stags set to increase club record bid?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans admitted his chase for the unnamed player he bid £350,000 may not yet be over and Stags could up their offer.

Evans is set to have a meeting tonight with chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford to decide what direction to take with their pursuit of the player, believed to be exciting Exeter City prospect Ollie Watkins.

Chad was told the name of the player by a very reliable source, but Evans would not confirm it, saying: “No, of course I can’t. It’s like Wikileaks isn’t it? I don’t know if it’s me or Donald!

“You have private conversations on a regular basis with different managers and different players and sometimes you get dismayed how they break.

“This is just another one. I don’t really want to talk about Exeter City other than Paul Tisdale is a manager I really like and he’s doing a great job. I don’t really want to talk about his players.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-set-to-increase-club-record-bid-1-8354899

After the initial £350,000 bid had been turned down, it was expected Evans would walk away from it. However, he said: “You can never say these things are dead. The chairman would like me to go back, though I am more cautious.

“It’s his money - and he has got enough of it. But I think you set a value.

“You know and I know I could value something at £10 and someone pays £30. That’s entirely their business and not out business.

“But I have another meeting with the chairman and Carolyn tonight, which will probably last a few hours, and, while I have my opinion on values, ultimately I will take his instruction of course.

“Will we go back with regards to the player? Chances are John Radford may want me to.”

Mansfield are not the only club chasing the player and Evans said: “Speaking to the manager concerned there is definite other interest and people can speak verbally about what they want to do and don’t want to do.

“That can’t concern us. I will sit down with the chairman and if he thinks we want to do something further or something different then that’s what I will do. I will ultimately, as you always do a manager, take his instruction.

“The nice thing is there’s not just one player on the list to make offers for. There’s more than one.

“The chairman and the CEO have been fantastic. They ring me more than I ring them about adding to the group.”


Exeter wonder kid is Stags’ record transfer target
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 25 January 7am

Mansfield Town caused shockwaves with a club record £350,000 bid for a player this week which Chad now understands is Exeter City wonder kid Ollie Watkins.

Our source said that bid has already been rejected by the Grecians, but there is still just under a week of the transfer window to go and anything could still happen.

Manager Steve Evans confirmed this week that a bid for £300,000 plus extras had been made for a player - doubling the record fee the club paid for Lee Peacock back in 1997.

Chad understands the bid amounted to an eye-catching £350,000 with add-ons, which was a tremendous statement of intent by Mansfield.

Chad understands that Evans has been tailing the 21-year-old Watkins since his time at Leeds United and saw him as a real talent that would be a great investment for the future.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/exeter-wonder-kid-is-stags-record-transfer-target-1-8351501

Evans was unavailable for further comment, though at Monday’s press conference he spoke about the player, believed to be Watkins, saying: “He is a young man we’ve watched a few times.

“He is a talented boy who’s got something to bring and gives the opportunity, we think, for the chairman in the future to make some money.

“I think he will be an investment rather than just buying someone for short term gain. “It would be for longer term, but it would be someone who I think would light up our performances even more - and we’ve been good in recent weeks.

“This would help the group as we have some talent in that dressing room - which we saw on Saturday.”

Newton Abbot-born Watkins graduated from the club’s youth academy having joined City at the age of nine. He struck eight goals in 10 games at the end of last season, which saw him attract a lot of attention from Championship clubs, and already has double figures this term.


LOMAS ON STAGS: Bold bid but Exeter will hold out for big money for Watkins
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 25 January 2017

The news broke today that up-and-coming Exeter City star Ollie Watkins looks to have been the target of a bold £350,000 bid by Mansfield Town.

That is a measure of how much chairman John Radford and new boss Steve Evans want promotion.

But, with Exeter above the Stags in the table and harbouring play-off ambitions of their own, it was always unlikely the Grecians would buckle at that price though it’s very hard to see him still being with them by the start of next season if he continues his current rise to fame.

Already several Championship clubs, including Barnsley and Rotherham are keeping tabs on Watkins and were he to move it is almost certain it would be to a club of that stature rather than the Stags.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/lomas-on-stags-bold-bid-but-exeter-will-hold-out-for-big-money-for-watkins-1-8352279

Steve Evans does a fantastic job in talking up his club and their ambitions - and no youngster could ever doubt the Mansfield manager when he says ‘join me and I could have you in the Championship in two or three seasons’.

But at the age of 21, Watkins will see that time as now. Any fee of £350,000 is not to be sniffed at in this division and it is a fantastic gesture by Radford to back Evans on this.

But Watkins is a home-grown product at St James Park and let’s not forget they sold a previous home-grown player - Matt Grimes - to Swansea City for £1.75 million back in January 2015.

So they are no pushovers when it comes to getting what they want for a player they have nurtured.

So, even if Evans and Radford decide to up their offer to the half-million mark before next week’s January window deadline, I can’t see Exeter succumbing.

Evans has brought in six new faces already in this window with the hope of two more permanent and one more loan. It remains to be seen if the manager can now pinpoint and secure a player further down on his list below Watkins with time running out, though with what he has already brought in, Stags should have enough in their armoury to mount a serious play-off challenge.


Mansfield Town have lowballed Exeter City with ridiculous "club record" offer for Ollie Watkins
By David_Byrom, January 25, 2017, exeterexpressandecho.co.uk

Ollie Watkins has reportedly been the subject of a £350,000 bid by Mansfield Town

After a quiet first 23 days of the transfer window, interest in Exeter City's Ollie Watkins appears to be hotting up.

First there was the news on Tuesday that the odds of Watkins moving to Derby County in this transfer window had been slashed to 1/1.

Now there is the news that Mansfield Town have apparently had a £350,000 bid rejected by City for the in-form 21-year-old.

If you were Watkins, you would no doubt choose Derby over the Stags - not only because you would be making the step up to the Championship, but because you would be working under the likes of Steve McClaren and Chris Powell rather than Steve Evans.

Read more at http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/mansfield-town-have-lowballed-exeter-city-with-ridiculous-club-record-offer-for-ollie-watkins/story-30085443-detail/story.html#qMl7gmZo1R1GGdMZ.99

Evans spoke of a bid he had made for a player - believed to be Watkins - on Monday, and said it would be an opportunity for the club to make some money in the future.

He said: "He is a talented boy who's got something to bring and gives the opportunity, we think, for the chairman in the future to make some money.

"I think he will be an investment rather than just buying someone for short term gain."

That may well be the case but, if Evans - who reportedly admired the player when he was Leeds United manager - views Watkins as a chance to make some money, then why is he lowballing Exeter City?

The Grecians' troubled financial history is well known but it is no secret that they are in fine health at the moment, with money in the bank after the sales of Matt Grimes and Tom Nichols.

With Grimes having gone for over £1million two years ago, and transfer fees having shot up since then, City could be forgiven for anticipating a similar fee for Watkins, who, while he is a little older than Grimes, is beginning to set League Two alight in a similar way to how he did last season.

It is a strange bid for Mansfield to make, not only because it is such a low offer, but because the player has already attracted interest from Championship clubs.

If Brentford had a bid turned down in the summer, then why would Mansfield expect City to accept a bid from a rival League Two club?

For me, the whole deal is strange and seemingly a way to try and tempt City into making a quick buck, rather than get the fee they rightfully deserve for Watkins. Thankfully, the St James's Park hierarchy have done the right thing in turning down the offer.

As many City fans have argued, Mansfield may well consider adding an extra zero onto the figure before they make another bid.



Latest | January 2017