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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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I want JP McGovern to stay with Carlisle Utd - Abbott

Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott insists he wants JP McGovern to stay and expects him to report back for pre-season training – but admits there is still the possibility the winger could leave.

Jon-Paul McGovern photo
Jon-Paul McGovern

The Blues manager – who is set for talks with another transfer target on Monday – said he “absolutely” wants McGovern in his squad for the new season after the Scot almost joined Rotherham earlier this month.

But Abbott said he still had to be prepared for the prospect of the former Swindon man leaving and hinted that money was a factor in 31-year-old McGovern coming close to quitting United.

Speaking for the first time about the influential winger’s future, Abbott – whose squad returns next Thursday – said: “I’m expecting him back. That might change, but as a manager I’m aware of it and I will deal with it.

“If he comes back I’ll deal with it and if he goes elsewhere I’ll deal with it.

“I had a gentleman’s conversation with JP and further down the line I might explain why the situation arose in the first place.

“When he signed he took a hefty hit on his wages but there is no issue – if he is back he will be giving everything he has got, because he likes being here.

“Would I prefer him to be with us? Absolutely.”

The Rotherham manager Steve Evans had revealed that he held talks with McGovern before opting to sign a different right winger, suggesting Carlisle were happy to allow the experienced player to talk to other clubs.

On the Millers’ interest, the Blues boss said: “JP is our player. I wouldn’t declare any interest in anybody else’s players, that’s not the way I do things.

“Steve does what he does, I do what I do, but JP is my player at the minute and that’s the way it is.”

Abbott returned to his desk at Brunton Park this week after a family holiday and plans to press ahead with his squad building plans ahead of next Thursday’s first training session.

That includes tying up new deals for James Berrett, Peter Murphy and Frank Simek, with Abbott claiming he would expect conclusions in the next “two or three days”.

And Abbott, who held a meeting with managing director John Nixon yesterday, is also planning to meet a prospective new signing at a secret location on Monday.

The United manager would not divulge the identity of the player but revealed he was a young forward player who he is pursuing on a permanent deal.

On the target – understood not to be ex-Sunderland loanee Jordan Cook – Abbott said: “He is a really good player and it’s going to be difficult to pull the deal off because there’s a lot of interest in him. But we have the chance to speak to him.

“He is at the younger end of the scale but exciting. He’s one that could be developed into something quite a bit better.

“He’s a good age, under 25 by quite a bit, and is ready for his career to kick off. He’s been with a decent club – a big, big club – and he ticks a lot of the boxes.”

Cook is understood to be in talks with a Championship club, with Stuart Parnaby – who had hinted at spending pre-season with Carlisle – also said to be speaking to a second-tier team.

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