Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Interest in Jones Means Dilemma for Gateshead

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Interest in Jones Means Dilemma for Gateshead

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Bowron

THE January transfer window will play a pivotal part in determining whether Gateshead kick on in the second half of the season.

The Tynesiders entered New Year in ninth place, nine points from the play-offs, following the New Year's Eve 4-1 win over Barrow.

It was a superb display from Neil Aspin's side and the Heed manager now has to stick or twist this month on the transfer front.

Gateshead need to strengthen their squad, but they are in danger of losing joint-top scorer Sam Jones.

Grimsby Town, promoted back to the Football League last season, are predicted to table a sizeable five-figure bid for the attacking midfielder. Summer signing Jones was a revelation in October and November scoring nine goals in as many games, some of them out of the top-drawer.

Physically strong and able to score with both feet and his head, it was always going to be hard to hold on to the 25-year-old.

But if Gateshead genuinely believe they can finish in the top five this season that is exactly what they've got to do, and strengthen the squad.

As they signed the former Leeds United trainee on a two-year contract in the summer, the ball is firmly in their court.

If Jones has a good second half of the season his value will only increase. If the Heed don't secure promotion then he could move on in the summer.

His form and goalscoring exploits have dipped since the purple patch in front of goal, but he remains Gateshead's jewel in the crown.

Grimsby could lose 18-goal striker Omar Bogle, a former Gateshead target, for a substantial six-figure fee this month to a Championship club.

Norwich City, Rotherham and Wigan are interested in the big front man. If the former Solihull Moors forward goes, then Grimsby will not be short on cash.

Gateshead transferred striker Ryan Bowman for a fee in the region of PS20,000 in August and Jones should command at least double that fee.

No sell-on clause was inserted into Bowman's switch to Motherwell. Jones' potential is far greater and could bring in further money down the line. …

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