- Monday, 18 June 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Bristol Rovers boss Mark McGhee has admitted that keeping hold of in-demand wide-man Mustapha Carayol will be difficult.
The club has already turned down two offers for the player, believed to have been from Barnsley and Derby County, over the last six months and have offered Carayol a new and improved deal to extend his contract beyond the end of next season.
Carayol, however, is understood to be keen to test himself at a higher level and would welcome a move to the Championship and has yet to put pen-to-paper on the offer. McGhee yesterday admitted that it would be difficult to stand in the Gambian’s ambition to improve himself – but has warned potential suitors that Rovers will not budge on their valuation of a player that they signed from Lincoln City for an undisclosed fee.
McGhee said: “I have a very clear picture in my mind of Muzzy’s value. Some people might think that he may not be worth that value at the moment, but by the start of the season or in the future, people will come to realize that we’ve set it about right.”
“The chairman and the rest of the board would love to keep Muzzy here, but we have to be fair to the lad as well. When a boy is presented with an opportunity that improves his prospects four or five or six-fold, it is no surprise he is interested.”
“He’d also have the chance to go and play two levels higher and, as a former player myself; it is something I would have wanted to do. My first priority, however, is to Bristol Rovers and our supporters and not to Muzzy, other clubs or agents.”
“That means I have to make sure that if any player leaves the club it is for a right and fair value. Muzzy and his agent know my position. I’ve made that quite clear recently and I’m not going to be budged on that.”
“I’ll be talking to the chairman about what else we could possibly do to persuade Muzzy to stay here. We believe there is a big future here with the way the board are thinking and with a new stadium on the way.”
“Maybe, there is something we can put to Muzzy to persuade him to be a part of that. I accept that it may be difficult to keep him, but I also remain determined to receive the value that is right for us.”
McGhee was back in Bristol yesterday where he was scheduled to hold a meeting with assistant manager Shaun North, chairman Nick Higgs and finance director Toni Watola to discuss the continuing business of strengthening the squad ahead of the new season and also to discuss Carayol’s future.