10:47am Thursday 10th January 2013
By Neil Perrett
UNSETTLED Cherries striker Wes Thomas could spark a bidding war after being linked with a host of Championship clubs.
Thomas this week resumed training with Eddie Howe's squad after returning from a fruitful loan spell at Blackpool where he netted three times in nine appearances.
Although the Tangerines had been favourites to sign him permanently, a request last week to renew his loan agreement at Bloomfield Road was rejected by Cherries.
And sources close to the Daily Echo suggest several Championship clubs have been monitoring the situation and could be planning to join the race for Thomas during the current transfer window.
Howe's former club Burnley are rumoured to be among them, while Birmingham and Huddersfield are also understood to be interested.
Cherries' League One promotion rivals Sheffield United are also believed to be keeping tabs on Thomas, while Sky Sports yesterday linked him with Championship pair Derby and Watford.
Speaking to the Daily Echo last night, Cherries boss Howe said there had been no change regarding Thomas's situation and confirmed Blackpool's loan request remained the only inquiry on the table.
Howe reluctantly gave Thomas permission to join Blackpool at the end of November after the east Londoner had made it clear he wanted to go.
Thomas, who has 18 months to run on his existing contract with Cherries, reunited with Michael Appleton at Bloomfield Road after enjoying a successful loan spell under him at Portsmouth earlier this season.
Intriguingly, Blackpool's interest in Thomas appears to have cooled ever since reports earlier this week started linking Appleton with the vacant manager's position at Blackburn - with an official approach made yesterday.
Should Thomas be sold, Cherries would look to recoup a large chunk of the six-figure sum they paid to Crawley just 12 months ago, an undisclosed fee believed to have been in the region of £175,000.
Sky Sports yesterday reported they understood that Cherries were keen on signing Leyton Orient goalkeeper Ryan Allsop and had already “expressed an interest” in the player.
The article suggested a deal for the 20-year-old was “in the process of being discussed” and claimed Cherries would be keen to have an agreement in place this month.
Cherries currently have four goalkeepers in their first-team squad - David James, Shwan Jalal, Darryl Flahavan and Benjamin Buchel - with Jalal the only one under contract to the club into next season.
Meanwhile, Glenavon defender Mark Haughey, 21, has been training this week with Cherries' development squad and lined up in a 4-3 defeat against a Brentford XI on Tuesday.
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