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Boss rebuffs media speculation on striker

25 January 2017

Manager Steve Evans earlier today refused to confirm reports that the Stags had tabled a £350,000 bid for Exeter City striker Ollie Watkins, following media speculation.

The manager revealed last week that he had submitted a bid of £300,000 for an un-named player as he looks to strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window. 

Speaking at a news conference at One Call Stadium, the Stags' chief said: “Of course I cannot [confirm it]. Listen, you have private conversations on a regular basis with different managers and different players, and sometimes you get dismayed how they break, and this is just another one."
“I don’t want to talk about Exeter City other than their manager Paul Tisdale [who] is a manager that I really like and is doing a great job. I don’t want to talk about his players.”

On his continued £350,000 offer for the player who has not been revealed by Steve Evans, the manager said: "You can never say these things are 'dead'. I have a meeting with the chairman (John Radford and Carolyn [Radford, chief executive] tomorrow evening which will probably last a few hours. Ultimately, I will take his instruction." 
The Stags’ boss has been busy during this transfer window to re-shape the squad and has also spoken about the productive conversations regarding further transfers with the above duo. 
“The chairman and the CEO have been fantastic. They ring me more than I ring them [asking] have we got people out, have we added to the group?
“And the analyst [at the club] is probably not sleeping well; he was sending me the footage [of potential transfer targets] at about one o’clock in the morning. That is how hard we are all working to make sure that we can get the right players here for the supporters, and the supporters deserve a successful team.”
The 54-year-old says he is hopeful of adding to his squad before Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash against Leyton Orient. Speaking about an un-named player who is not subjected to the £350,000 bid, Evans said: “We would love to make it happen before Saturday, and we would like to get three or four [more players] before the transfer window slams shut, because there is no opportunity to do that after that, with the emergency loan market no more part of the thought-process.
“So [there will be] possibly one for Saturday, we would like to think that there is a chance. But we are working so hard, the chairman is working so hard, he has bent over backwards to make something happen for us.
“We have to make sure that we don’t add just any player, but they are good players, who add to the good group we have got. We just want to strengthen competition in three or four areas in the team. 
“If they come in and they want to think that they can play, we want them to make the same impact as the loan boys have done [and] the permanent signings have done [such as] Joel Byrom and Ben Whiteman, because they are committed enough for the work.” 
Supporters can view manager Steve Evans’ full news conference on Stags PlayerHD.

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