STAN­LEY EXIT TO SPARK BEAT­TIE BIDS?

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Sam El­liott

MYS­TERY sur­rounds the des­ti­na­tion of James Beat­tie after he walked away from Ac­cring­ton with Leeds and Black­pool both said to want the for­mer Southamp­ton striker – and Carlisle United also keen.

The 36-year-old, left, stepped down from his po­si­tion at the League Two club at 7pm on Fri­day, be­fore Stan­ley’s vi­tal match with AFC Wim­ble­don.

He left with “a heavy heart” but The Foot­ball League Pa­per un­der­stands he is un­likely to be out of work for long.

Leeds, who parted with Dave Hock­a­day late last month, are re­ported to want to speak with the five-time capped ex-Eng­land for­ward, who has done a re­mark­able job at trou­bled Stan­ley with fi­nances tight.

Beat­tie’s for­mer club Black­pool have also no­ticed the job he has done on a shoestring bud­get and see him as a per­fect fire­fighter to keep the trou­bled Lan­cashire club in the Cham­pi­onship should Jose Riga leave, as seems in­creas­ingly likely.

The main sell­ing point of a re­turn to Bloom­field Road would be the lack of need for him to up­root his fam­ily.

Should he not land ei­ther role, Carlisle may pounce – the Cum­bri­ans are with­out a boss after part­ing company with Gra­ham Ka­vanagh two weeks ago.

A source said: “It could be a case of ‘take your pick’ for James. The job he has done in re­ally dif­fi­cult and test­ing cir­cum­stance at Ac­cring­ton is known through­out foot­ball. He has got his hands dirty and he is well-re­garded.”

On his exit, Beat­tie said:“I can never fully re­pay the faith and back­ing I got from the play­ers, my staff and of course the fans. They al­ways gave me 100 per cent. I thank them for grant­ing me the op­por­tu­nity and priv­i­lege to be a part of a unique club.”

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