CON CHASE ISON!
Eight clubs in race for Posh striker
NO FEWER than eight Championship clubs are battling to sign Peterborough United hotshot Conor Washington – but they’ll have to find a total of nearly £5m to get him.
The Posh striker is now wanted by Wolves and Derby – and three other clubs have already had offers for the 23year-old turned down.
Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Birmingham are among the interested parties but the League One club say they are in no hurry to sell.
Peterborough have told would-be suitors to put up or shut up – and they are refusing to do business with sides who don’t fall into line with the payment structure they’re seeking.
The FLP understands two clubs are not a million miles away from agreeing a fee for the striker, who has scored 14 goals in his last 16 matches.
But the sticking point is the timeframe in which they want
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to pay Posh for the player they signed from Newport County in 2014.
They won’t have to pay £5m up front for Washington but director of football Barry Fry and chairman Darragh MacAnthony are keen for a deal with a number of addons – something else standing in the way of the transfer’s progress.
The FLP also understands offers are on the table for Posh defender Jack Baldwin, 22, and from an unnamed Premier League club for pocket dynamo Erhun Oztumer, 24, – dubbed the London Road “Turkish Messi”. Interest is also mounting in Irish midfielder Chris Forrester, 23.
But Fry says the club won’t be pushed into selling. He said: “There’s interest in Conor, a lot of interest to be fair.
“There’s eight clubs in the Championship, most of the big ones. They all want him. They’re all looking to get that striker in who will score the goals to get them up into the Premier League.
“We’ve knocked back three offers but the thing is as time runs out in the transfer window, they all start to panic! That means if he was to go we’re more than likely to get a better deal if we hold on for a bit longer.
“It’s got to be on our terms, we have made that clear. The payments have to be staggered in the right way, and we’ve disagreed with clubs about that. We’re looking for the right add-ons and as much as we’re a club who won’t stand in people’s way, this needs to be right.
“Everyone has their price and Conor is a fantastic player. Defences just cannot cope with his pace and any club looking at his goal record has got to be impressed by that.”
Fry admits he will be “very surprised” if Peterborough keep their entire squad together this window as clubs circle above Graham Westley’s highly-rated young side.
“It’s not likely if we’re being realistic,” he added. “But we’ve got a good squad and if we lose one, we’ll cope. We’re not the top scorers in English football for no reason.”
OFFERS: Barry Fry