CON CHASE ISON!

Eight clubs in race for Posh striker

The Football League Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Sam El­liott

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

➤Con­tin­ued from front

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

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