Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday July 31 2010
In an interview with Talksport, Leicester striker DJ Campbell has reiterated his desire to play in the Premier League.
However, the forward stopped short of saying that he wants to achieve this desire with the Seasiders as the seemingly never ending transfer wrangle over him between Leicester and Blackpool seems set to continue.
The striker said:
'The Premier League is one of the best - if not the best - league in the world and it would be brilliant to test yourself there.
'I've played there already with Birmingham and I want to get back there, it was a great experience.
'You become a better player if you play in a league of such high quality, and to do that again would be fantastic.'
DJ finds himself in a difficult situation at the moment; whilst it is widely known that he wants to move to Blackpool permanently following two hugely successful loan spells at the club, Leicester are refusing to buckle to Blackpool's 'transfer policy'.
The Seasiders could have signed the player for £250,000 in January, but elected to just sign him on loan instead (failing to include an 'agreed fee' in the loan deal, the same mistake they made with Swansea's Stephen Dobbie!).
Following promotion, they were then quoted at nearly £2 million for the player as the Foxes looked to cash in on Blackpool's promotion to the Premier League, as well as recoup their fee for the player.
Naturally, given the player's age, wages, the fact that he wasn't in Leicester's plans, and the fact that he has just a year to run on his current deal, the Seasiders refused to pay this.
However, instead of moving onto other targets or trying to meet Leicester halfway, the Seasiders decided to offer around £300,000 for the player. What was the point in that?!
Sources in Leicester well connected with the Foxes suggest that if the Seasiders had offered £1 million for the player at the start of the summer (like they have done this week, an offer that was rejected), then the Midlands club would have bitten their hand off.
Instead, the Seasiders, for want of a better phrase, pissed about before panicking this week and vastly improving their offer for the player as they continue to stuggle to bring in players (need I remind you that we are yet to sign anyone this summer?).
In the meantime, DJ has been in stunning form for the Foxes in pre-season and new manager Paulo Sousa has praised the striker, said that he is in his plans and offered him a new contract.
Of course, Leicester could just be doing this to force the Seasiders' hand. Either way, it is clear that they intend to play hardball, especially as they know that the Seasiders are panicking. (Other clubs must know that we're panicking too and will make us spend far more for players that we would have had to do earlier in the summer, contradicting the whole 'prudence' line from Oyston and Ollie!).
Some have suggested that DJ put in a transfer request, but he probably knows about Leicester's hardball transfer tactics better than most - they'll gladly freeze him out and let him run down his contract in the reserves again rather than buckling in the transfer market.
Furthermore, he must be disheartened that the Seasiders only offered around £300,000 for him in the first place. It would have been far easier for him to force Leicester's hand had we made a serious offer in the first place!
Instead, like other clubs and players this summer, we have aliented both Leicester and DJ with the way we have conducted ourselves in the transfer market (even Ollie has admitted that some of our offers have been 'insulting').
Yes, we could do better than DJ, but here is a player who wants to play for the club, knows the club, loves the club, fits into our system etc and would probably make for a very sound investment.
What seemed like one of the most straightforward transfer deals this summer now looks like it won't happen.
It shows how badly the club is being managed at the moment that it has has taken us until two weeks until the start of the season to have a serious bid for DJ rejected. The futures of the likes of him and Dobbie should have been sorted out months ago.
Yes, we can move onto other targets... if we have them. At this late stage, even Ollie might be struggling to pull rabbits out of his hat.
After all, the desperation with which we have made bids this week shows that perhaps we do not have anyone better lined up.
Worrying times indeed.
Date:Saturday July 31 2010
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