Colchester United transfer news: U’s linked with Vale attacker

Port Vale's Ben Whitfield, heading the ball in an aerial battle with Ryan Jackson. Whitfield has bee

Port Vale's Ben Whitfield, heading the ball in an aerial battle with Ryan Jackson. Whitfield has been linked with a move to the U's. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United, on the search for a new attacking recruit, have been linked with a move for Port Vale winger-cum-attacking-midfielder Ben Whitfield.

The U’s need to strengthen their squad, attack-wise, if they want to sustain a promotion push during the last three months of the season.

They have already allowed loanee Aaron Collins, himself a wide player, to return to his parent club, Wolves, earlier this month, and manager John McGreal revealed yesterday that “one or two of his players” were also being targeted by clubs from the Championship and the top end of League One.

Whitfield last started for Port Vale, in the U’s 3-0 away win at Vale Park a fortnight ago.

The ex-Bournemouth 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Vale from the Cherries, made the move permanent on a free transfer last summer, but has been in and out of the Vale starting line-up.

Whitfield was left out of the starting line-up for last weekend’s 1-0 win at Crawley, and was only a substitute during the 3-0 loss at Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

He has a player who has had long loan stints at Kidderminster Harriers, Yeovil and Port Vale.

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McGreal has been chasing a few players already this month, but with no success to date.

“Budget-wise, we are in the bottom half of the budget league, and that’s not taking into account what some of the clubs are able to do in January with adding to their squads and strengthening them,” explained McGreal.

“We would love to add, but we haven’t managed to get a player over the line year.

“We tried to do that early on, but didn’t manage it. We have to be patient,” added McGreal.