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Striker Bid Fails
By: Bill Osborne
Lennie Lawrence failed to sign Stoke City striker Kyle Lightbourne in his last ditch effort to secure a striker before the dreaded time limit. Negotiations have been going on all day relating to signing on fees and personal terms with Stoke saying he could be released on a free transfer.
Taking the talks almost to the wire the Grimsby manager finally gave up the chase when an agreement on the terms could not be reached. This is a major blow to Grimsby Town who can now only add players to the squad for next season.
The signs looked good earlier as other teams interested in signing Lightbourne gradually dropped out of the race as the day went on.
He was placed on the transfer list by Stoke in December after becoming third choice in the striker line and Gudjon Thorderson is also looking for further additions to the front line so the Bermudian International obviously does not figure in the Stoke manager's future plans.
Lightbourne was acquired by the Potters for Â£500,000 and scored 5 goals in 15 starts. Stoke's Football Executive John Rudge said "Kyle is looking for a new challenge and there has been interest, but as yet nothing concrete has been finalised."
Lennie Lawrence told Mariners Net "I've made an enquiry for the player, but he has three or four other irons in the fire. I'll know more later in the day." Any deal to bring the striker to Blundell Park would be a permanent one, with the Mariners already having their allowance of two loan players.
Other teams reported as chasing Lightbourne for his signature are Cambridge, Scunthorpe, Aberdeen and Yeovil
Previous clubs: Scarborough, Walsall, Coventry, Fulham (loan).
Position: Striker / Left winger
Kyle joined Stoke from Coventry in February 1998 for Â£500,000 and was ex manager Chris Kamara's only signing during his short and unsuccessful spell at the club.. In his early days in division 2 when at Walsall he was one of the hottest properties outside the top flight, banging in 20 + goals every season for them
However he did not have a very successful start to his Stoke Career and on the day that he joined he was struck down by a virus.. He returned a couple of weeks later but the few goals he scored were not enough to save Stoke from relegation. The following season in division 2 under Brian Little he suffered from a lack of service and an even greater loss in form although he still managed to chip in with several goals along the way..
Under ex Boss Gary Megson though Kyle appeared to be given a new lease of life and he again became a crowd favourite amongst Stoke fans at the start of the 1999/2000 season and scored some memorable goals. Towards the end of the season under new boss Gudjon Thordarson his form dipped slightly as he briefly lost his place to on loan Arnar Gunnlaugson before eventually Gudjon bought Kyle back in to the team to play three up front for Stoke as they edged their way into the playoffs.
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