Carlisle United manager Steven Pressley has admitted he’d like to keep Blackpool target Hallam Hope at Brunton Park in an interview on the club’s official website.
The striker is wanted by the Tangerines to lead their attack in League One, but after 14 goals for the Cumbrians last season his current manager is also keen to see him remain with the club.
“I obviously hope he stays here,” Pressley said of the 25-year-old.
“But, if he doesn’t, I’ve got no complaints about his attitude. He’s an ambitious young player and if he gets the chance to go to a higher league then of course he will want to do that. That’s just the same as anybody else.
“One day I hope we’re in a position where we can keep these types of players, but we’re not there yet. We have to accept where we are, and I wouldn’t deny the player the opportunity to progress if the right offer comes in.”
He also admitted that if Blackpool meet the player’s valuation then he wouldn’t be holding him back, but that as yet there wasn’t anything firm on the table.
“I honestly don’t know where things are at in terms of Blackpool. There’s been a change in management there as well, so I’m not sure how that is going to affect their transfer policy.
“We’re obviously aware that if they reach the valuation we expect then Hallam would like the opportunity to speak to them, but there’s nothing to report at this stage.”
Hope began his senior career with Premier League Everton, earning England honours up to Under 19 level, but has since switched allegiances to play for Barbados.
At least Pressley is being pragmatic about the situation. If a good bid comes in for his striker then it’s almost certain that he’s going to leave the Cumbrians.
It’s refreshing to hear a manager speak honestly about a transfer situation, no bullish claims about keeping him at the club, just an honest admission that he won’t stand in the player’s way.
That will help with recruitment going forward; if players know Carlisle will allow them to progress they are more likely to choose them over a stubborn club that hangs on to talent.
It’s a fact of life in League Two everyone is a selling club.