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Cheltenham: We Want Clare

By: Electric Robin
Date: 24/01/2001

Cheltenham Town supporters have made it clear that they want loan signing Daryl Clare to stay at Whaddon Road. Almost three-quarters of the fans responding to a poll want the Grimsby Town striker to remain with the Robins for at least another month.

An exclusive poll for Electric Robin has revealed that 73% want Clare to stay. This figure is split almost equally between those who would like to see his loan deal extended for a second month and those who want the club to sign him on a permanent basis.

Although Clare is out of contract at the end of the season, and could potentially be allowed to leave on a free transfer, only 11% of supporters favour the club waiting until May and trying to sign him on a Bosman free. This could be a sign of the fans wanting to see new blood at Whaddon Road in an effort to boost the club's flagging play-off hopes, with the Robins dropping from 1st to 8th in four months.

Even if Cheltenham manager Steve Cotterill decides to pursue Clare, cash concerns could present a problem. Not only will the Robins need to finance his wages out of a limited budget, but they are unlikely to be able to offer much more than £30,000 for his services.

Clare was signed on a one-month loan deal just prior to the New Year's Day fixture at Mansfield Town, which was later, postponed on the morning of the game. Cheltenham's late swoop took them ahead of Lincoln City in the queue, with unconfirmed reports indicating that the 22 year-old had already given a verbal commitment to the Imps.

After only two weeks at Whaddon Road, the deal took another turn when Cotterill revealed that he was keen to sign the former Irish Republic under-21 striker on a permanent basis.

To most Robins fans, Clare's opportunities at Grimsby appear to be limited. Despite five years as a professional at Blundell Park, he has struggled to establish himself in the first team although he seemed to have made a vital breakthrough when given an extended run in the Mariners' side during the final three months of last season. But when the current campaign began, Clare found himself on the sidelines once again.

Meanwhile, it seems that Grimsby fans also expect Clare to depart. A recent supporters' poll on the Grimsby website Electronic Fishcake indicated that Clare is the player they would most like to see sold in an attempt to raise cash towards new signings. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to make many, if any, new signings with the kind of money Cheltenham can afford to offer.

This story is by courtesy of the Cheltenham site.

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Cheltenham have offered 40,000 for Clare which has been turned down but according to LL, "It is not a million miles away from what we want for him"

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