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Manager sends defiant message to Blackpool over striker transfer

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Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says Owen Dale will return to the club if a fee cannot be agreed with Blackpool to make his loan move permanent next month.

Dale joined Blackpool on loan from Crewe until January back on the final day of the summer transfer window, with an option to make the move permanent when the window opens at the turn of the year.

The attacking midfielder has since gone on to score one goal and provide one assist in seven appearances for the Seasiders, who sit 17th in the Championship table.

However, reports over the weekend claimed that Blackpool are now trying to reduce the agreed initial fee – thought to be £500,000 – to make the move permanent, instead offering more extras based on appearances further down the line.

Now though, it appears that Artell has no interest in altering the terms of Crewe’s agreement with Blackpool over the 23-year-old.

Speaking to his club’s official website about Dale’s situation, the Crewe boss said: “The situation with Owen has not changed as far as I am concerned. It is a loan with an option to buy.

“I thought a fee had been agreed, but if that is not the case and one cannot be agreed then I will happily have Owen Dale back. What a great signing that would be for us in January. That would be no skin of my nose.

“What a good signing that would be but I thought everything had been agreed, other than that I don’t know.”

Prior to his move to Blackpool, Dale had scored 15 goals in 109 appearances in all competitions for Crewe, after graduating through the club’s academy.

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Dale’s contract with Crewe is set to expire at the end of this season, meaning January could be their last chance to receive a fee for him.

The Verdict

This does look like the right approach for Artell and Crewe to take over Dale’s situation.

Ultimately, Dale is still their player, so they are in control when it comes to what clubs must pay if they want to secure his services.

As Artell himself says, having a player of Dale’s quality back would also be a big boost for Crewe, as they look to avoid relegation from League One this season.

But even if Blackpool are unwilling to pay what Crewe want for the attacker, you feel another club might be willing to, and that could give Artell something to think about, given Dale’s contract situation at Gresty Road.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

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Article title: Manager sends defiant message to Blackpool over striker transfer

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