U's put £1m price tag on Lisbie

COLCHESTER United are reported to have slapped a £1m price tag on prize asset, Kevin Lisbie.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United are reported to have slapped a £1m price tag on prize asset, Kevin Lisbie.

However, Lisbie himself is sceptical about that huge figure. He believes that the U's would accept a more moderate price, although at present he has no plans to leave the Essex club.

Front-runner Lisbie plundered 17 goals in a struggling team last season, following his move to Colchester from Charlton Athletic on a free transfer last summer.

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To finish fourth in the Championship's goalscoring charts, in a team that finished rock bottom with just seven wins all season, is no mean achievement.

It's not surprising, therefore, that Championship clubs have been showing an interest in Lisbie this summer, led by Barnsley and Burnley.

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Barnsley were on his trail, until it is alledged that they were warned off by a £1m price tag, according to reports in the local press in Yorkshire.

If that were the case, therefore, then for Lisbie to leave Colchester - and he still has two years left on his current contract - the U's would want the third biggest transfer fee in their history, following the £2.5m received from Reading for Greg Halford in January, 2007, and the £2.25m banked from Newcastle for Lomana Lua Lua in 2000.

Lisbie revealed last night: “I have spoken to the manager (Geraint Williams) and have told him that I'll be keeping my head down and just waiting to see what happens. I have heard nothing about a £1m price tag. I think that would be asking a bit to much for me!

“I have an agreement with Colchester, and a £1m asking price is not it. Colchester have had a couple of offers for me, and they have talked to me about both of them. They were not the best offers, certainly not £1m, and I'm not surprised that they have been turned down.

“I have a big family and I don't want to uproot, so I wouldn't want to move far anyway,” added Lisbie.

Scoring goals was not a problem for the U's last season - 62 in 46 league matches - and manager Williams has taken steps to shore up a leaky defence by signing three defenders this summer.

Paul Reid was the third new signing on Tuesday, snapped up from Barnsley, and so joining fellow centre-half Matt Heath (from Leeds) and left-back Matt Lockwood (from Nottingham Forest) on the U's books.

Lisbie is impressed with the new signings. He continued: “The defence was a major problem last season, and the gaffer has taken steps to rectify this.

“He has brought in three aggressive defenders, who are all leaders. We were missing that aggression at the back last season.

“I scored 17 goals in the Championship, but there's no guarantee that I would find it any easier to score in League One. It should be easier, but who's to say that Platty (strike-force partner Clive Platt) might get 20 goals this season, and not me?” concluded Lisbie.

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