Deadline Day Looms
'No better than what we've got' - a term the Alex faithful are rather familiar with. The club's management team of Dario, Neil Baker and Glyn Chamberlain undoubtedly work hard in a bid to find that extra bit of quality; that is indisputable. However, Dario's decision making when it comes to which players and recommendations he will follow up are more controversial.
However, I really don't want to depress you by focussing on the could-have-beens such as Dave Nugent. Instead, we'll look at the possibilites which may or not materialise at some point tomorrow.
Dave Brammer: Mr Brammer's agent has decided that now would be a good time to publicise Crewe's apparent interest in his client, with contract talks due to begin later this week. However, it appears that is agent isn't familiar with any interest from Crewe, but just wouldn't be surprised if we were interested. Despite that, there might be something in this story with Dario keen to add a midfielder to his squad. Dario remains a Brammer fan, and Jeff Whitley's arrival at the Britannia adds further credibility to the story. Furthermore, Brammer is out-of-contract at the end of the season, so the 31-year old appears likely to join the club sooner or later, though it will probably be later.
Lee Matthews: The press are reporting that the injury-prone striker has received 4 offers, including one from Crewe. It is reported that Crewe have offered the striker £250 a week, whilst the three other offers are in excess of £100k a year. Whether that is true or agent's work is up for debate, but the striker seems one of the liklier options to sign. However, there is no rush with Matthews as he is a free agent, so the deadline doesn't apply to him.
Ben Burgess: The Hull striker now appears a definite no go with Hull telling Blackpool that the forward isn't for sale. Burgess started and scored in Hull's 2-1 cup win over Tranmere, but found himself amongst the substitutes in the very next league game against Coventry. Crewe may take hope from Hull bidding for an unnamed striker, though it would be a massive surprise if Burgess was to sign on deadline day.
Rickie Lambert: The 24-year old striker recently rejected a new contract at Rochdale and has been linked with numerous Championship, League One and League Two clubs. Lambert's contract expires next summer, though it would again be surprising if anything materialised with Lambert.
Paul Ince: The midfielder has been in talks with the club about a player/coach role, but appears to have opted to join Swindon. However, Swindon need to free up some of their wage bill in order to sign Ince, as they are currently very close to the League 2 ruling limiting clubs from spending over 60% of turnover on wages. Ince's signing would take them over that, so it remains to be seen where Ince will end up. Despite living nearer to Crewe, Swindon seems the more likely destination, though as he is a free agent the deadline doesn't apply.
Danny Carlton: Crewe have been keeping tabs on the young Morecambe striker, but won't be making a move for him, as he is a small and nippy forward in the Luke Rodgers mould.
On a more general note, a loan goalkeeper may be lined up, as might a loan striker. However, any such deals are being kept very quiet, though it would perhaps be surprising if no deals were completed given Dario's confidence that he would bring in one or two faces before the deadline.
No players seem set to leave the club, although Stuart Tomlinson would move to Burton on loan if the club manage to sign a new keeper.