FOOTBALL: RUSSELL Slade is continuing to work his magic in the transfer market and is looking to bring in two more midfielders and at least one striker before the current window slams shuts, the Observer can reveal.
Farrend Rawson became Slade’s second loan signing after joining from Derby County this week and was the final piece of the defensive jigsaw for the new City boss.
A lack of creativity and goals has been a big issue for the Sky Blues this season and Slade is now working hard to improve those areas of the team in order to improve the club’s precarious position at the bottom of the League One table.
It is understood that Derby striker Charles Vernam will join the Sky Blues on loan next week, while Slade is also running the rule over former QPR star Samba Diakite and Cardiff City midfielder Theo Wharton, both of whom are currently on trial at Ryton.
“I’d like to bring two more in in midfield, one wide player and one central and least one striker if not two,” Slade told the Observer.
“We’re very close to bringing one striker in, there is an agreement in place. We were hoping to get him in this week but we’re having to wait a bit longer but in principle the deal has been agreed.
“Both trialists are doing fine. I knew Theo during my time at Cardiff and he was a very promising player.
“He picked up an injury which was unlucky for him be he’s still a young player who I think has a bright future in the game.
“Samba is probably not up to speed fitness wise I’d say but the work he’s done has been beneficial to him. He has got huge pedigree and it wasn’t that long ago when he was a multi-million pound player, but he’s probably just lost his way a little bit.
“Both players will be analysed on Monday when we’ll take a look at them and see how they do against Crystal Palace.
“Of course both players’ fitness is a concern because given our situation we can’t be waiting on them too long to get up to speed, which is another reason why they’re playing on Monday.
Meanwhile, interest in City youngster Ben Stevenson looks to have died down this week with Brentford not having returned with an improved offer.
The Championship side had two bids of £500,000 and £750,000 turned down by the Sky Blues last week.
The Observer understands those figures fall below the club’s valuation for the highly-rated midfielder and Slade is pleased to see that the transfer attention has not affected Stevenson’s attitude.
He added: “There have been no fresh offers for any of our players this week.
“Of course there is always speculation and there have been a few enquiries but there has been nothing solid. Enquiries yes, that will always happen.
“You can judge a lot by a players’ body language and I’m pleased enough with what I’ve seen from all of the players, including young Stevenson.
“The fact that there’s interest in our young players like Stevenson shows that we’re doing something right but at the same time that doesn’t mean you put a limit on what they can do because Ben, like every player, wants to play at the highest level possible.”