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PETERBOROUGH boss Darren Ferguson quashed rumours that Siriki Dembele had been left out of Posh’s squad midweek due to interest in the attacker – with the former Preston boss stating that only injury kept the forward out of the draw with Birmingham.
The internet hype machine had connected the fact that Peterborough’s director of football, Barry Fry, claimed that Cherries had two bids for Dembele rejected with the striker’s omission from the match-day squad, but Posh boss Ferguson strongly confirmed that a minor injury was the cause of his absence.
Ferguson told press: “Dembele, contrary to nonsense rumours about him being left out due to links with another club, was injured. Simple as that.
“I think he’s got a chance for Saturday. He felt something in the game last Saturday, reported it on Monday morning.
“He was in early and got some treatment and we knew that because of his foot and ankle he was out. It’s nothing to do with anything else apart from an injury.”
Those in positions of power at Peterborough are not ones to mince their words – as evidenced by Fry’s open-door policy to discussing bids for Dembele, with club chairman Darragh MacAnthony also letting his feelings known by labelling transfer targets that refused to join a club in a relegation battle “cowards.”
As the final days of the transfer window approach, it appears Cherries are working hard on bringing in numerous targets in order to strengthen for a final promotion push.
Cardiff City’s Kieffer Moore appears to be Cherries’ main target, and whilst progress is believed to be made in terms of negotiating a fee, press in south Wales are reporting that no bid has officially been made.
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray claimed that Rovers have rejected bids for midfielder Joe Rothwell from numerous clubs this window, claiming sides have bid “twice as much as much as what Bournemouth have bid”.
Both Dembele and Rothwell will be able to be approached with a pre-contract on February 1, but it remains to be seen if Cherries are interested in the players longer-term or a looking for players available this window.
Another heavily linked player is Derby County’s Tom Lawrence. The EFL announced a statement today stating that Derby have been given a month’s extension until March 1 to prove they have capable funds to remain in the league.
Quantuma, the club’s administrators, have shown the EFL that they have enough money to cover the month of February, with enough money raised through player exits and TV money.
Whilst the club remains in a precarious position, it does imply that the Rams can hold out for a higher transfer fee for Lawrence, who is out of contract in the summer.