Crawley are keen to sign two defenders before the weekend after allowing Claude Davis to join Rotherham United.

Davis was reunited with former Reds boss Steve Evans at New York Stadium yesterday after Crawley agreed to cancel the remaining 18-months on his contract.

The former Jamaica international was keen to move closer to his family in the north after his wife gave birth to a girl at the end of November.

With speculation still surrounding the future of Kyle McFadzean the departure of Davis has prompted boss Richie Barker to step up his search for reinforcements in the centre of defence.

Bristol City are still keen to sign McFadzean but the fact the 25-year-old has not played since November due to a virus has slowed down a deal being struck.

Barker admits there is still a strong possibility that McFadzean will leave before the end of the transfer window leaving him with only utility player Shaun Cooper as cover for inexperienced duo Mark Connolly and Joe Walsh.

Reds do not play again until next Tuesday when they take on Preston North End at home and Barker is hopeful of having a couple of new faces in place by then – although he has denied rumours of interest in Gillingham defender Connor Essam.

Barker said: “We are looking to bring somebody else in and hopefully it will be more than one.

“We still don’t know what is happening with Kyle but I have got to make sure we are covered for all eventualities. If we get two then that will give us more options.”

Davis joined as a free agent in September 2011 and went on to make 53 appearances for Crawley, scoring three goals.

He was a key member of the side which won promotion from League Two last season but has struggled for form and fitness this year.

Barker added: “It was predominantly a personal thing. Claude wanted to move closer to his family and once somebody has made their mind up then you have got to accept it. It would be wrong for me to stop him seeing his kids.”

Meanwhile, John Akinde has turned down another chance to go out on loan.

The out-of-favour striker, who has scored just one goal in 18 months at Reds, rejected an opportunity to join a Blue Square Bet premier side until the end of the season.

Akinde has not started a game all season and has dropped even further down the pecking order following the arrivals of Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Jamie Proctor and Jimmy Spencer this month.

Barker added: “It is the sixth or seventh move he has turned down so it is a little bit frustrating.”

Barker joined around 40 fans in helping clear the Broadfield Stadium pitch of snow yesterday with the club appealing for further help today to finish off the job. Those interested should are asked to get to the ground from 9am.