Luton boss confirms bid for Oxford striker Constable

HATTERS manager Gary Brabin has reached stalemate in his attempts to sign Oxford United striker James Constable, writes Mike Simmonds.

The boss confirmed a bid had been placed for the 26-year-old on Tuesday night, but it had been rejected by the U’s as it didn’t meet their valuation.

Brabin said: “I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to bring a forward to the club.

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“It’s got to be the right type and fit into the way we want to do things, but James would be one of them.

“At the moment, he’s still an Oxford player and we have to respect that decision.

“There are a few we have considered and James is one that we would be interested in, but at the moment people are reluctant to let their players go.

“I’ve got quite a good relationship with Oxford behind the scenes and they value him a little bit higher than what we’ve offered them.

“We have to respect that decision and see what happens.”

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Constable had been skipper at the Kassam Stadium last season, but that honour has now been bestowed upon central defender Jake Wright.

Sensing unrest from striker, who started against Rotherham United on Saturday, Brabin was quick to act.

He said: “He had the captaincy removed from him and we thought there might have been something there, so we backed it up with a bid.

“I asked the question, but at moment they don’t want to do anything.”

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Oxford chairman Kelvin Thomas confirmed that Constable was a wanted man, but also reiterated the club’s stance they didn’t need to sell the player, who has scored over 60 goals since joining in August 2008.

He said: “There has been some interest in him from League One, but no formal bids – except for one from a Conference club.

“We received an offer from them, but it was nowhere near enough.

“Manchester United sold Ronaldo so obviously every player can leave a club if the price is right.

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“But we are in a position where we do not want to sell our players, and do not need to sell them.

“James is fully aware of the situation and the offer that has been made for him.

“But having signed a new three-year contract at the end last season, both he and the football club are very happy with their position.”

The potential signing of Constable was given the thumbs up by chairman Nick Owen too, who said: “I think there’s been interest for a year.

“I would be delighted if it happened.”

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Although Brabin has not admitted defeat in the pursuit of Constable, he does have other targets in mind.

The boss said: “I certainly won’t be panicking and have said from the start, I don’t want to bring players in for the sake of bringing them in.

“We’ve got some quality strikers at the club, but I want more competition for places and I’m looking for quality players that will give us something different.

“People are wanting to hold on to their better players, so it’s not just a case of going and signing someone.

“The type of quality we’re looking for, it’s hard to prise them away from the club.”