Fleetwood Town managed to keep hold of talented defender James Hill this summer despite transfer bids from Premier League and clubs competing in European competitions, according to chairman Andy Pilley.
Football League World exclusively reported that a whole host of top flight clubs were keeping tabs on the 19-year-old at the start of August, including Leicester City, Brentford and Southampton.
It came after Hill, the son of former Preston North End, Sheffield United and Bristol City left-back Matt Hill, appeared 28 times for the Cod Army last season and impressed on a regular basis at centre-back.
With just one year remaining on Hill’s contract, the Lancashire side could have cashed in but Pilley stood firm and the defender will stay under Simon Grayson’s management until at least January.
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Hill has just received his first cap for England’s under-20 side which will only see his stock rise and Pilley has spoke out about the teenager’s situation amid the transfer window bids from bigger clubs, with the Daily Record revealing that the clubs were Rangers, Burnley and Southampton who saw offers knocked back.
“There were two Premier League clubs who made bids for James and there was also a bid from the Scottish Premiership,” said Pilley, via the Daily Record.
“I wouldn’t like to say who the clubs were, but unfortunately the bids weren’t of sufficient numbers for us to trade in.
“We’re quite relaxed about his situation. It might be that he goes in January, but he’s going to go at the end of the season unless he signs a new contract.”
It says a lot about how highly Fleetwood rate Hill that they can afford to turn down offers for him when his contract situation is so precarious.
With the aforementioned clubs interested, there doesn’t seem to be any chance that Hill will pen a new deal at Highbury.
And when it gets to January, Rangers could approach Hill on a pre-contract agreement which will seriously scupper Fleetwood’s chances of getting any decent fee for him.
If Hill does move upwards to a Rangers or a Premier League team it’s likely that he will only be heading to their development squad initially, but he’s definitely got the scope to improve even more and with a lot of senior football already under his belt, Hill will likely be tracked by many more clubs in the next few months.