U's may have to splash cash for Hollands

COLCHESTER United might well have to splash out more than £100,000 if they want to snap up Bournemouth's player-of-the-year, Danny Hollands.U's boss Geraint Williams needs to bolster his squad, ahead of the new campaign in League One, especially as 11 of last term's squad have since left, and with Mark Yeates still poised to be the 12th departure.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United might well have to splash out more than £100,000 if they want to snap up Bournemouth's player-of-the-year, Danny Hollands.

U's boss Geraint Williams needs to bolster his squad, ahead of the new campaign in League One, especially as 11 of last term's squad have since left, and with Mark Yeates still poised to be the 12th departure.

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock remains keen to sign want-away winger Yeates, even though the Irishman failed a medical on his troublesome shoulder last week.

Warnock revealed: "It is probably a bit concerning for Mark (Yeates) to see stories that the deal has fallen through. But it is just on hold while he does a four-week rehabilitation plan. Hopefully, it will still go through."

Fellow wingers Kevin McLeod (to Brighton) and Karl Duguid (to Plymouth) have already left the U's, and with Yeates seemingly destined to stay in the Championship, rather than stay with his current club, Williams needs back-up across the midfield.

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Hollands could well fit the bill. The 22-year-old former Chelsea trainee is currently mulling over the offer of a new contract at Bournemouth, but both Colchester and fellow League One club Millwall are reported to be interested in luring him away from Dean Court.

Bournemouth would probably want in the region of £120,000 for Hollands, if he were to leave, although a final fee might be decided by a tribunal.

Manager Kevin Bond does not want Hollands to leave. He said: "I know there is interest from other clubs, but I just hope that he (Hollands) decides to stay.

"He hasn't indicated to me that he wants to leave. We rate him highly and have offered him a contract that reflects that."

Since the end of last season, Kevin Watson, Danny Granville, Luke Guttridge, Tom Webb and Tom Devaux have all been released by the U's, while loanees Adam Virgo and Bela Balogh have returned to their parent clubs.

In addition, Teddy Sheringham and Aidan Davison both retired, and McLeod and Duguid have moved on to pastures new. McLeod signed for Brighton earlier this month, and Duguid joined Plymouth for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday.

Williams has strengthened his defence, with the arrival of Matt Heath and Matt Lockwood on permanent contracts, but he now needs to improve his options on both flanks.

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