Reds step up search for cental defender

Claude Davis, right

Claude Davis, right

First published in Crawley Town

Crawley will step up their search for a new central defender with the Broadfield Stadium futures of Claude Davis and Kyle McFadzean surrounded in doubt.

Davis could be reunited with former Reds boss Steve Evans at Rotherham United after holding talks over a possible move to the League Two promotion hopefuls yesterday. The 33-year-old has not played in the last three games due to a knee injury but Evans believes his experience could be vital to the Millers’ chances of going up and a deal could be completed before the weekend.

Davis signed a new two-year contract in August but has been dogged by injuries this season and the form of Mark Connolly and Joe Walsh means Reds would be willing to let him leave.

McFadzean is wanted by Bristol City but the Championship club are still some way short of meeting Crawley’s asking price. City are also concerned about McFadzean’s health as he has not played since November due to a virus but are yet to arrange a medical for the 25-year-old.

A striker and a right-back were top of boss Richie Barker’s priorities during the remainder of the transfer window but if both Davis and McFadzean were to go he would need to strengthen in the centre of defence.

Connolly and Walsh have been impressive in recent weeks but are inexperienced and the only cover Barker would have if either of them got injured would be Shaun Cooper.

Barker hopes to bring in at least one player before Saturday’s home game against Carlisle United but admits that progress is slow.

He said: “It is certainly not easy. It is not like a computer game where you click on an offer and a deal is accepted because there are so many variables.

“Sometimes I am amazed how many transfers actually do go through. I thought we were going to get someone last week and then we hit a stumbling block but there is a chance it may be back on.”

Meanwhile, Barker has revealed there has been some interest in out-of-favour striker John Akinde and another member of his squad. He added: “I had a conversation with a club last week about John but have not heard anything since and there was an opportunity for someone else to go on loan but that may not materialise now.”

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