It’s that time of year again. Club message boards up and down the country are awash with transfer rumours. Whether the source of these rumours is so and so’s mate’s brother who knows someone on the board of directors, or someone else who saw Graham Kavanagh in Costa Coffee buying a skinny latte with a bloke wearing a Rangers tracksuit, 99% of the time they turn out to be false. That’s the beauty of the summer transfer window.
I’ve attempted to collate all this information and come up with a list realistic transfer targets, who, in my opinion, could possibly be gracing the corridors of Brunton Park in the not too distant future.
Much, of course, depends on the outcome of the ongoing contract negotiations. With the likes of Tom Taiwo, James Berrett and Francois Zoko yet to commit themselves, it is unclear who will be returning to the club when the players reconvene for pre-season training. What is certain, however, is that there is an unmitigated need for a ‘plan B’. Should the worst happen and we lose Lee Miller to injury, a sufficient back-up plan, which the side so badly missed last season, is a necessity. This, coupled with defensive cover, should put us in good stead as we once again go in the hunt for promotion.
So, here goes…
Tamás Kádár – Most recently on the books with Newcastle, Kádár is now looking for a new club following a four year stint in the North East. Comfortable on the ball, the 6 ft 2 Hungarian cap found first team opportunities hard to come by and was sent out on loan to Huddersfield last season in order to gain valuable experience. Able to play at both centre-back and left-back, a move to Carlisle could be just the tonic as he looks to kick-start his career.
Jonathan Grounds – A left-back by trade but with experience at centre-back, Grounds is without a club after leaving Middlesbrough earlier this month. After several loan spells, notably with Hibernian, Norwich and Yeovil, he is now of the age where first-team football is a necessity if he is to develop further as a player.
Stuart Parnaby – Right-back Parnaby’s future remains uncertain as he attempts to re-ignite his career following a break from football. Fruitless trials with Millwall and Charlton led to him joining Carlisle, again on trial, earlier this year. With an impressive CV to his name, a UEFA cup final with Middlesbrough included, Greg Abbott has made little secret of his interest in the player. Should Parnaby choose to follow in the footsteps of Ian Harte in moving down the divisions to join the Cumbrians, his presence would undoubtedly strengthen the side.
Jesse Lingard – Likened to Xavi by Man Utd teammate Danny Welbeck, Lingard was on a three-man shortlist for the Premier League Reserves’ Player of the Year. His direct running and eye for goal saw him notch nine goals last season. Despite not yet making first team bow, he is highly regarded by the management staff meaning that a loan spell in the Football League is a likely plan of action for the teenager.
Paul Cairney – Cairney has enjoyed an outstanding season in the Scottish First Division with Partick Thistle, leading to scouts from across the country flocking to register their interest in the midfielder. Linked with Hibernian, interest in Cairney has intensified over the course of the last few weeks but, as of yet, hasn’t led to any move. The impact of Robert Snodgrass and Graham Dorrans should provide inspiration to the out-of-contract player as he decides where to further his career.
Giles Coke – Coke is still under contract at Sheffield Wednesday but is likely to be surplus to requirements at the club following their promotion to the Championship. His powerful performances in the centre of midfield on-loan at Bury saw him quickly become a fans’ favourite, but with the Shakers already admitting defeat in the race for his signature, a move to a club in the top-half of League One is a distinct possibility.
Farid El Alagui – El Alagui, the Scottish First Division Player of the Season, enjoyed a terrific season with Falkirk, scoring 27 goals in all competitions. Known for his aerial prowess, the Moroccan front man has attracted interest from SPL and the Football League after signing for the club last summer. Aberdeen and Crawley appear to be the frontrunners for his services, but with his preferred destination rumoured to be England, a shorter distance move to Carlisle could potentially be an exciting one.
Ryan Donaldson – Should United’s pursuit of Jordan Cook not come to fruition, a player of Donaldson’s ilk is likely to feature on Abbott’s radar. Released by Newcastle following spells with Hartlepool and Tranmere, Donaldson will want first-team football in order to attempt to fulfil his early potential.
David Clarkson – Similar to Lee Miller, Clarkson boasts a decent record in the SPL, the Championship and internationally with Scotland. Most recently on the books at Bristol City, Clarkson is no stranger to Brunton Park having scored Brentford’s first and Carlisle’s second goal during their 2-2 draw with the Blues back in October. Out of the three players mentioned, he is the one who ticks all of the boxes. Don’t be surprised if he is indeed lining up for Carlisle in three months time.
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