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Neil Lennon to cast eye over trialists on tour in Austria

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Neil Lennon will take a closer look at a handful of trialists in Wanderers’ pre-season training camp in Austria next month.

It is expected that two or three Europe-based players will join the squad when they assemble near Graz in the first week of July, hoping to earn a contract with the Whites.

Whether ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Wilson Palacios is one of them remains to be seen as the 30-year-old could soon be offered a deal with MLS club Philadelphia Union.

The Honduras international has an open invite to train with Wanderers in the summer – although club sources are keen to emphasise that they have not discussed any potential contract.

Palacios, who was released by Stoke City at the end of the season, may not make it to Austria, however, as Union announced on Saturday morning that they were considering making him an offer when the transfer window opens on July 8.

“Wilson's trial is done with the team,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. "We will evaluate things further and have talks with ownership and see what makes the most sense for the club and his agent and make a decision that is best for the team.”

Palacios played just 14 league games for Stoke after signing from Spurs for £6million in 2011, suffering a host of knee problems, and did not make a single appearance for the Potters last term.

A move to Qatar fell through last season after he failed a medical and his reported £2million-a-year wages would be beyond the reach of Wanderers or an MLS club like Union at present.

A report in Honduras last week quotes Palacios’s father Eulogio, who believes his son wants to stay in England.

“I do not think he is going to play in the United States because he will continue in England. He has made a life there and does not think of moving away.

“I think he will accept the proposal of a second division team of England but he has not told us anything.”

Lennon hopes to have a few new signings on board by early July – with one report claiming yesterday the Whites boss could be willing to pay a cash for Dutch defender Nick Kuipers.

A fee was agreed with MVV Maastricht in January but Wanderers did not follow up on the deal, prompting the 22-year-old to sign a new two-year contract.

After losing out on Craig Morgan, Lennon may now have revived his interest, but the club would have to come up with funds to complete the deal.

Meanwhile, striker Sergi Enrich – who last week said he was considering an offer from Wanderers – has been linked with moves to Eibar and Real Oviedo in the Spanish press.



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
So is this Mark Iles just recycling an old story or are the trialists likely to be players other than Enrich (unlikely if Madine is in the bag and given he's been linked with 2 Spanish clubs) Palacios (knees gone and England-based anyway) and Kuipers (maybe if the price is right)?
I just don't think these three are quite right but beggars can't be choosers. Still, I hope Neil has others lined up.


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
lusty I think we're done or close to it already. Hate to be cynical but seriously, Madine hasn't signed yet, Morgan went to Wigan and everything else appears to be either Iles or Nixon putting 2 and 2 together to come up with nine. 

Every damned summer it's the same. We're 'looking hard' at X, we're close to signing him, he signs for someone else and we hear 'sadly a deal couldn't be agreed because the club wanted too much or the player's demands were too high'.

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