Posted: 08.01.21 at 11:01 by The Editor
CREWE are ready to fend off interest in skipper Perry Ng after rejecting a bid from Championship club Cardiff City.
Dave Artell branded the offer from the Welsh outfit "disgusting" and says that it is miles off the valuation they have on the defender, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.
The Alex boss accepts that Ng, 24, may run down his contract and seek a move to a higher level in the summer. But for now Artell has no intention of spending much time discussing bids from clubs attempting to take advantage of a depressed market and the defender's situation in the current transfer window.
He has also hit out at an agent, who he says has fuelled Cardiff's interest, although he does not represent Ng.
"I think we have responded (to the offer), but it didn't warrant a response, it was disgusting," said Artell. "It came about through an agent who is trying to force a deal. He's not working for us because we don't pay agents. He's trying to get a deal going, but he's miles away - between here and Mars to be honest.
"Perry understands that. He's been a terrific leader and a terrific captain. He's got another four months if he runs down his contract, but if he doesn't we have him for another few years.
"I've spoken to his agent and he was fuming about how the 'deal' came about."
Despite the impact of Covid-19 on lower league finances, Crewe have planned carefully for a campaign with significant revenue reductions. The near £400,000 Premier League deal also helps buffet them and Artell stresses they have no need to sell anyone.
"It doesn't surprise me (the interest in Ng) as we've got good players at this club and not just Perry," added the manager.
"What I would say is that we don't need to sell. We're in a great financial position, the best we've been in for a number of years."
In-form Owen Dale has been hailed after securing December's League One Player-of-the-Month award.
Artell praised the attacker, who hit four goals in four games, and said: "It is fully deserved as he has had a terrific few months. We have been working with Owen to improve his end product, getting him into positions and thinking about his technique."
Artell, himself, was nominated for the League One Manager-of-the-Month award after overseeing an unbeaten league record with four wins and two draws during the month. But Steve Cotterill's 15-point haul at Shrewsbury secured the new Salop boss the prize.
Tomorrow's re-arranged trip to Rochdale (K.O 3pm) could face a pitch inspection in the morning if temperatures plummet overnight. The game was cancelled last Tuesday (December 29), one of three games the hosts called off because of positive Covid-19 tests.
Dale reported a clean bill of health from this week's mandatory testing in the EFL, although there were 112 positive tests among 3,507 players and staff at 66 EFL Clubs.
From next Monday the regime is being stepped up with twice-weekly testing, made possible by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
Crewe boss Artell says football is doing more testing than any other profession in the country and remains confident the season will go on.
"We're in one of the most highly regulated environments. We get tested now twice a week and we've had tests on a fairly regular basis at this club and while we've still had positive cases we know in a day or two if someone is positive which is far better than the general public," outlined the manager.
"The general public could be asymptomatic, but we are picking up asymptomatic cases. If football has to stop I'm not sure it would be a good idea."
Meanwhile, Offrande Zanzala has joined League Two Carlisle United on a short-term deal.
The striker, who had his one-year Gresty Road deal cancelled by mutual consent last weekend, will be at Brunton Park until the end of the season.
Carlisle boss Chris Beech told the Cumbrian club's website: “We had Ozzy on the radar for some time. He ticks the boxes in terms of our own style of play."