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Blackpool lining up double deal



Blackpool have targeted a Bloomfield Road return for Alex Baptiste following his release by Queens Park Rangers at the end of last season, as reported by Alan Nixon.

The 33-year-old spent two years at Loftus Road but found himself surplus to requirements at the end of the season. That’s prompted Simon Grayson’s side to show an interest in their former player.

They’re also hoping to secure the services of Hallam Hope, the 25-year-old Carlisle United striker who bagged 14 goals in League Two last season.

Alex Baptiste started out with Mansfield Town, but moved to the Tangerines in 2008, spending five years with the club. He enjoyed Premier League football in 2010/11, making 21 of his 187 outings for them in the top flight.

He’s since played for an array of Championship clubs including Middlesbrough, Preston, Blackburn and Bolton, as well as enjoying a loan spell with Sheffield United in League One.

He briefly worked with current manager Simon Grayson during his first spell at Bloomfield Road. He joined the club in July 2008, with Grayson moving to Leeds five months later.

Hope began his career with Everton and represented England up to Under 19 level, but later defected to Barbados and moved to Bury before heading to Brunton Park.

The Verdict

It’s an interesting double-signing if they can pull it off. Baptiste might be getting a little long in the tooth for Championship football, but he’s sure to be a solid, experienced influence in the third tier.

Hope had an impressive season with Carlisle and has certainly developed with the regular football he’s been offered there. Blackpool need a striker to partner Armand Gnanduillet and he’s certainly one who fits the bill.

He chipped in with seven assists last season as well as the 14 league goals, and he’s only 25. He can operate through the middle or out wide as well, making him versatile as well as effective.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Blackpool lining up double deal

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