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Groves Wants Keane And Hughes!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 26/05/2003

Paul Groves has said that he is still talking to Preston in a bid to sign former loan player Michael Keane. He also confirmed his interest in signing Richard Hughes who is reported to be on a free transfer.

Preston boss Craig Brown has already said that Keane could go if Town can find the cash for the fee as Preston have a set a small transfer fee for him.

In reporting this, the Grimsby Telegraph also said that Groves is also a confirmed admirer of out-of-contract Barnsley striker Bruce Dyer but says he has not made any moves for him so far.

But Groves did reveal that he had spoken to three players he would like to acquire. "We've spoken to three or so players at this stage. It's difficult when you're having negotiations with existing players and it's a balancing act. We want to have 24 players and that means we need quite a few to make that number."

The wages of Keane and Hughes are a stumbling block and with John McDermott and Stacy Coldicott both having offers slashed on Friday it could make things difficult.

"There's going to be a fee involved with Michael Keane and that will put a strain on the deal. But it's something that we're in talks about and looking at what we can do. He's a good age, has proved he can do it in the first division and is versatile too. He's definitely one we want to consider."

On Hughes, he said, "Richard would be someone we'd be interested in but it's a question of whether we can meet his wages. We can't match the package he's on now. He's on first division money at a big first division club. He would interest us, but with all due respect, can we afford him?"

It would seem a categorical 'No' would be the answer to that unless the board can find some extra cash from somewhere.

Groves has previously announced that there would be little action until July when players return from holidays and discussions can begin in earnest.

In the meantime Leicester City are claiming they have taken Phil Jevons on loan which will be a relief for Groves considering his high wages.

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