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Crawley poised to bring back talisman Tubbs
Crawley Town are poised to beat off competition from League One rivals Leyton Orient to bring striker Matt Tubbs back to the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Tubbs is understood to have returned from an unhappy loan spell at Rotherham United four weeks early and is expected to join Reds today.
The 29-year-old will not be eligible to boost Crawley’s attempts to set up a mouth-watering FA Cup clash with Swansea, however, having already played in the competition for the Millers. Reds were drawn at home against Swansea in the fourth round yesterday but must first overcome Bristol Rovers in a second round replay on Wednesday and then win at Birmingham City.
The incentive of a possible home tie against Manchester United disappeared after Swansea stunned David Moyes’ side with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in their third round clash after the draw was made.
Tubbs remains a legend at Crawley having scored 58 goals in 78 games to help them to the Conference title before signing for Bournemouth for a reported £800,000 two years ago.
He has struggled for opportunities at Dean Court and came close to joining Reds in the summer before eventually being reunited with his former Crawley boss Steve Evans at Rotherham.
Tubbs’ loan was due to run until the end of January – when Rotherham had an option to make the deal permanent - but Evans and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe came to an agreement to allow him to return early after scoring just once in 21 appearances for the Millers.
Reds boss John Gregory has been promised funds to strengthen his squad during January and sees Tubbs as the ideal player to boost a side which has struggled for goals in the last three months.
Orient and League Two high-fliers Oxford United are both understood to be interested in the former Salisbury marksman but Tubbs is keen on a return to Crawley where he enjoyed the most prolific spell of his career.
Tubbs still has another year and a half left on his contract at Bournemouth but Howe is happy to allow him to join Reds on loan until the end of the season with the option of making the deal permanent in the summer.