Chesterfield: Dean Saunders keen to keep Jimmy Ryan and Drew Talbot

New Spireites boss Dean Saunders
New Spireites boss Dean Saunders

New Spireites boss Dean Saunders has indicated he’d love to keep out-of-contract pair of Jimmy Ryan and Drew Talbot.

Ryan, who’s had two superb seasons at the Proact, predominantly as a holding midfielder alongside Sam Morsy, was offered a new deal back in January, but it is thought the gap between offer and demand was too great to close.

Former Scunthorpe man Ryan, aged 26, has gained lots of admirers in his time with Spireites and he’ll have no shortage of offers from elsewhere for his services, with former boss Paul Cook likely to try and tempt him down a division to Portsmouth.

The midfielder is expected to have talks with Saunders today having returned from a short break abroad.

Talbot, who joined the club, initially on loan in January 2009, has had a nightmare two seasons due to injury, but is coveted by Saunders who tried to sign him when he was manager of Doncaster Rovers.

It’s believed Oxford United want the 28-year-old utility player while Chesterfield are believed to have discussed terms, lower than he has been on due to his injury issues.

At present, Saunders has not managed to talk to Talbot who he believes is away on holiday.

The new boss is desperate to keep his star players who are under contract, particularly Gary Roberts, Sam Clucas, Tendayi Darikwa and Sam Morsy, but the 50-year old is pragmatic enough to know that if they’re offered better deals elsewhere their heads could be turned.

Clucas and Morsy have been mentioned in connection with Eoin Doyle’s club, Cardiff City, while Reading are also believed to be interested in Clucas.

Roberts is thought to be another Fratton Park target. Darikwa has long been stalked by a host of clubs, some of them from the Premier League.

Saunders insists that if any of his stars are to move on they’ll not be allowed to go on the cheap, and he knows that any potential suitors may not reveal their hands until much later in the summer, which could hamper his own squad building.

A pair of strikers are his top targets, a natural finisher and a strong targetman being the personnel specifications, but he recognises that they’re at the top of most club’s wanted lists and are likely to be expensive, especially if proven at league level.

Saunders has yet to reveal who his assistant will be but it’s thought certain to be Brian Carey, who was with him at Wrexham, Doncaster and Wolves.

The Irishman is working in the Blackburn Rovers set-up, so formal approaches will have to be made.