U's record bid for Coyne turned down

COLCHESTER United have had a bid for Luton Town skipper Chris Coyne turned down by the League One strugglers.The U's were prepared to match their club record transfer fee paid for a player, by offering £300,000 to capture the highly-rated Australian central defender.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United have had a bid for Luton Town skipper Chris Coyne turned down by the League One strugglers.

The U's were prepared to match their club record transfer fee paid for a player, by offering £300,000 to capture the highly-rated Australian central defender. That was also the figure splashed out to purchase Clive Platt from MK Dons last summer.

Luton boss Kevin Blackwell confirmed that the U's had made an offer for Coyne, who has been at Kenilworth Road since 2001, but that it didn't match the club's valuation. They want a lot more for their 29-year-old defender, but they aren't in a very strong bargaining position at the moment, because the Hatters are currently in administration and up for sale.


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Blackwell said: “What a terrible position to be in. I don't want to talk about it as it would break your heart.

“We are where we are, and I'm not in a position to demand money from anybody. The ideal scenario would be one big sale. The problem we've got is even that still wouldn't solve the wages situation and it wouldn't see us through.

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“But if the figures aren't right, you don't have to keep talking. Clubs have come in with Mickey Mouse prices. If I don't think they are right, I can say 'no',” added Blackwell.

The deadline for offers to buy the League One club has recently been extended until January 7. The Hatters have already been docked 10 points for going into administration, and many of their players look set to leave this month.

It's no secret that U's boss Geraint Williams is on the look-out for new players, as he strives to guide the Essex club clear of the relegation mire.

The defence has been a big problem all season, with 43 goals conceded from 26 league fixtures, and their squad was further depleted by Matthew Connolly's departure this week. The 20-year-old former Arsenal loanee signed a three-and-a-year deal at QPR on Wednesday.

There is still the possibility of Colchester lodging an improved offer for Coyne, who arrived in this country 12 years ago when signing for West Ham in a £150,000 deal. He went on to play in Scotland with Dundee before becoming a stalwart of Luton's back four.

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