Blackpool manager Neil Critchley has insisted that Jerry Yates is not for sale this summer.
Yates joined Blackpool on a permanent deal from Rotherham United in the summer, on the back of scoring 13 goals in League Two for Swindon Town as they won automatic promotion last term.
The 24-year-old has been in fine form for the Tangerines this season, scoring 16 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions.
14 of those goals have come in 33 League One outings, with his brace against Peterborough United in midweek sending Blackpool into sixth place.
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Yates is attracting glances ahead of the summer, though. Football Insider claim that Blackburn, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest are keeping tabs on the striker, who is reportedly valued at around £2million.
But speaking to the Blackpool Gazette this week, Critchley has issued a hands-off warning to those clubs wishing to sign Yates this summer.
He said: “It’s part and parcel, standard practice of football. If someone is doing well in a certain division, then it will attract interest from teams above you.
“That would be the same if it was a League Two team – League One teams would be looking at the best players in that division.
“Jerry is doing well, playing well and scoring goals, so I’d expect him to be attracting attention from teams above, that’s normal. In fact, I hope he does attract attention because that means he’s doing well for us.
“Jerry signed a long-term contract here, so he’s under contract with us. He’s with us and we’re not looking for him to move any time in the near future.”
Yates will have another two years left on his deal the time the summer arrives.
Critchley was always going to come out and say this. Every manager seems to do so whenever their top player is linked with a club from a higher league.
Yates has been in great form this season, and with Blackburn potentially looking to replace Adam Armstrong, he’d be a ready-made replacement.
Forest and Bristol City are also likely to bolster their attacking options this summer, but Blackpool seem to be an ambitious club nowadays and it looks like it will take a lot to lure him away from Bloomfield Road.