BOSS JOHN Coleman admits he would be reluctant to see Lee McEvilly go - but won't stand in the striker's way.
A Coca Cola League One side have expressed an interest in the 23-year-old, nicknamed "Evil", and it is thought the Northern Ireland international could be on his way out of Accrington Stanley soon.
"We don't know if Lee will go but if the lad wants to play elsewhere and go back into the league, and if it is a good deal for Accrington, then we won't stand in his way and we will replace him," said Coleman of the former Rochdale hitman, who has one year of his contract to run with the Reds.
"The thing is with Lee is that some games he has been fantastic this season and other times he has fell below the standard we have come to expect from him and we do need more consistency out of a player like Lee.
"Lee knows that and he might want a new challenge to go and play elsewhere to do that.
"We have always said, we won't stand in anyone's way if they feel they want to go back into the league. That is their preference.
"Mine is Accrington Stanley. But nothing is done and dusted yet and it isn't an ideal situation for us but these things happen in football."
Nothing has been confirmed yet and Stanley are waiting for the Coca Cola League side to get back in touch but the league club has said they are especially keen to snap up McEvilly and hope to do a deal soon.
"We are just trying to sort things out but if we do, we would be more than happy," said a spokesperson from the club.
Meanwhile, Coleman is confident of bringing in at least four new faces over the next two weeks.
"I think there will be four or five new players here in the next couple of weeks. Some players may go and some will come in but that is the way it is.
"There are a lot of players available who have been released by clubs but I will only bring in ones that suit the way we play, our style of football and our desire and ambition. We don't just want anyone."
And one of the new faces will be a central defender who will rival Robbie Williams and Mike Flynn.
"I have been in talks with a Conference centre half and I am hopeful that he will sign next week," said the manager.
"Our main problem was conceding goals last season and that is what I am looking at first and foremost. We conceded 58 goals and I think we need to knock 20 off that if we are to be challenging for promotion. I have also spoken to a couple of goalkeepers and hope to have one signed up soon," added Coleman who only has goalie Danny Alcock on his books.
And the Reds chief confirmed he will be sitting down and talking to winger Rory Prendergast, who still has a year left on his contract but has been linked with a move to Conference rivals Exeter.
"I will talk to Rory next week about his future - what he wants and what the club wants and we will see what happens," said the boss.
And, despite some rumours to the contrary, Coleman is confident that Chris Butler, David Brown and Gary Roberts - who were on short-term contracts with the Reds last season - will be wearing Stanley shirts in the new campaign.
"I am expecting them all to sign," said the manager.
But Steve Halford won't be. The transfer-listed defender, who was on loan at Conference North side Droylsden last season from the Reds, is expected to finally sign for the Bloods next week. "That should go through in the next couple of days," added the boss.
Meanwhile, former Stanley player Steve Flitcroft has expressed his desire to follow Jonathan Smith and make the move to Conference North side Barrow.
Manager Lee Turnbull is interested in the former Blackburn Rovers trainee, who was on loan at Barrow last season, but does have other midfielders in mind. He said: "Steve is keen on coming to the club. I don't want to keep him hanging on a string so I've told him I've got two other options and that I'd be back in touch with him soon."
Radcliffe Borough and Lancaster City are also interested in Flitcroft.
- NORTHWICH Victoria, who finished out of the relegation zone, will play in the Conference National next term, provided they receive clearance from the FA. Their new Victoria Stadium has been given Conference approval after work was completed by the 31 May deadline. A final decision will be made when the Conference board meet on June 10.
- NEXT season only two teams will be relegated from the Conference due to the restructuring of the league to 24 teams.