Every day at the moment seems to unveil yet more transfer news and speculation involving Crewe. Whilst several players remain on course to leave, some players' departures appear less certain than initially thought.
The Steve Jones saga continues as yet another manager publicly states his interest in the Northern Ireland international. Recent newspaper reports claimed that Jones was '95% certain to join Burnley', consequently evoking this response from Clarets' boss Steve Cotterill, 'I haven't seen the newspaper reports, but I might be interested in him. But that would be at the end of the season because he is still playing for Crewe at the moment'. Whoever he joins, Steve Jones looks set to leave with Dario Gradi recently admitting that the club wouldn't be able to offer the same terms which Jonah rejected last summer.
Steve Foster appears equally certain to leave, though his destination remains unknown. Foster is 'looking to the future financially' and 'would like to get a Championship club', according to Dario Gradi. However, little interest has been reported in the centre-back, who would allegedly consider joining another League One club, should the financial package be acceptable.
However, Kenny Lunt's future appears undecided. A move failed to materialise for the creative midfielder last summer, with Leeds unwilling to pay the necessary fee. Whether or not interest will surface this summer is unknown, though Dario Gradi remains hopeful of convincing his captain to remain at the club. Reported interest from Burnley appears as yet unsubstantiated, though after enjoying an impressive second half of the season, it would perhaps be surprising if there were no takers.
Meanwhile, interest in Crewe youngster Billy Jones is increasing by the day it seems. West Brom and Everton continue to send scouts to watch the youngster, who many believe has more potential than Crewe's ex-forward Dean Ashton. West Brom may be unable to match the likely price tag of around £3m, with Dario Gradi admitting that Billy's talents are sure to attract attention, 'I don't know if there's any truth in the rumours. But if they've got any sense they'll all be looking at him.'
Madjid Bougherra is another who looks set to depart this summer. Yorkshire appears his likely destination with Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United most interested in the Algerian defender. It is believed that FC Gueugnon want around £350,000 for their charismatic Algerian, which may put the likes of Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday off the relatively unproven defender. Whether Sheffield United deem Bougherra Premiership quality remains to be seen, though Crewe fans will be hopeful that the asking price is a stumbling block for other clubs, with Dario Gradi reportedly willing to meet FC Gueugnon's asking price.
Elsewhere, Ryan Lowe appears likely to join the Alex in the summer after impressing in training. Gradi admits that Lowe 'couldn't have done any better in training than he has done' and has proven himself to be 'every bit as good as any of our players in training'. With Lowe available on a free transfer, his eye for goal, crossing ability, versatility and work rate may make him an attractive proposition for Gradi. Lowe is set to feature in a friendly against Port Vale this afternoon.
In terms of summer signings, January transfer target Gareth McAuley has earned himself a place in the League Two Team of the Year, which is likely to ensure Championship interest in the defender. Meanwhile, Crewe's scouts actively continue to search the Football League and Conference for summer signings.
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