U's move closer to getting their man

by Carl MarstonCOLCHESTER United have moved a step closer to signing Carlisle United keeper, Ben Williams, by holding talks with the player.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United have moved a step closer to signing Carlisle United keeper, Ben Williams, by holding talks with the player.

And there is a possibility that the U's might be prepared to agree on a player-exchange, to secure the deal.

The EADT yesterday reported that the U's had made an offer for Williams, and the Essex club have since been given permission to speak to the ex-Manchester United trainee.

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It remains unclear whether Carlisle have accepted the U's bid, but the Cumbrians have financial problems which could encourage them to part company with their first choice custodian.

Carlisle boss Greg Abbott admitted: “There has been an offer for Ben and he is now talking to Colchester to see if it is a move that he wants to make.

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“It is a deal that does have a slight complication involved with it at the moment, but it's a complication that is in our favour. We should have more details about that later this week.

“Obviously if he does agree to go then we will move to bring in a replacement, and work is already being done on that.

“We would want that one sorted as quickly as possible, but we have to wait and see what happens with Ben and his talks with Colchester first,” added Abbott.

Keeper Williams has only been at Brunton Park for one season, following his move from Crewe. The 26-year-old made 133 league appearances for the Railwaymen and played 36 games for the Cumbrians last term.

If Williams does agree to sign for the U's, then Lambert will have three senior keepers in his squad. Mark Cousins signed a new two-year contract last month, and Dean Gerken is still under contract.

Gerken spent time on loan at Darlington last season, and Williams' potential arrival might pave the way for Gerken's departure.

The possibility of a player-exchange, as being the aforementioned “slight complication,” is an intriguing one. Carlisle are well stocked with defenders, so that would suggest a Cumbrians interest in an attacking player.

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