Rovers in six-club chase for Pope

Rovers transfer target Tom Pope. Photo: Keith Turner
Rovers transfer target Tom Pope. Photo: Keith Turner

Doncaster Rovers will face competition from at least five other clubs in their chase for striker Tom Pope.

Paul Dickov confirmed last month that he had held talks with the forward, whose contract is set to expire at current club Port Vale.

But Pope has revealed he has held talks with six clubs as he looks to secure his future.

In his regular column in the Stoke Sentinel, Pope defended his decision to contemplate his future after cash-strapped Vale were forced to offer him a 50 per cent wage cut.

Chairman Norman Smurthwaite has revealed the club spent £2.45m on players last season but will only guarantee boss Rob Page £1.7m for next season.

Pope wrote: “From my point of view I’ve spoken to five or six clubs who value me at a lot more than Vale have offered. If we were talking about £200 a week difference then it wouldn’t be a problem, but we are not.

“If someone lived in a £150,000 house then they wouldn’t sell it for £70,000 because it was to a mate – as much as they would like to.

“I hope people understand my position. But whatever happens it will be a big decision for me and my family.”

Newly-promoted Bury are thought to be one of the chasing clubs. The Shakers have shown their intent to push on next season by bringing in Leon Clarke on a three-year deal after his release by Wolves.

Bury boss David Flitcroft has refused to be drawn on speculation linking his club to Pope.

The future of the striker should become clearer by Wednesday as Vale have set a deadline for the out-of-contract players to reveal whether they intend to stay.Then the offers will be withdrawn.

Rovers have confirmed two pre-season friendlies for Rob Jones’ development squad - at Bridlington Town on July 22 and Armthorpe Welfare on July 27.