Michael Smith unsure on County stay
NEWPORT County AFC loan star Michael Smith admits he may have played his last game for the club.
Smith’s initial loan period ended after Friday night’s 1-1 draw with promotion rivals Wrexham and he is unsure whether he will return to Rodney Parade.
The 6ft 4in striker is due back at his parent club, Charlton Athletic, on Monday for talks with manager Chris Powell.
“I don’t know what’s happening yet. I’ve got to go back to Charlton to speak to the manager,” said Smith, aged 21.
“I’m getting games here and I am enjoying it, so I’m happy, but ultimately it’s not up to me, it’s up to Charlton what happens next.
“I’d like to stay but whatever happens is up to my parent club.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club because they are a great group of lads and there’s definitely the talent here to go all the way – with or without me.”
Exiles boss Justin Edinburgh is keen to keep Smith until the end of the season if possible, but fears a repeat of the Christian Jolley situation, when the player was recalled to his parent club with a view to a move elsewhere.
“We’re in dialogue with Charlton and we’re looking to extend it but it’s difficult with loan players because we don’t dictate (what happens),” he said.
“We had it with Jolley and it’s the same with Michael. If they say no there’s nothing we can do.”
Edinburgh is also targeting two other strikers and a central defender, which is more of a priority after Ismail Yakubu suffered a hamstring injury against Wrexham.
“With Ismail’s injury we will press on trying to sign a centre- half, we want to do that,” said the manager.
Director of football Tim Harris confirmed that they are in talks with Forest Green Rovers to bring Chris Todd back to the club.
Todd was a key part of County’s 2010 Blue Square Bet South championship-winning team but left in the summer of 2011.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh revealed that he has not given up hope of bringing Jolley back to south Wales.
The AFC Wimbledon winger, who scored five goals in five games for County in November and December, has been made available for transfer by the League Two strugglers.
The Dons turned down County’s initial offer for the player, who has since rejected a move to the Exiles’ Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Luton Town.
Edinburgh said: “I spoke to him and his agent just before Christmas and made them aware of where we are and what we want to do but we haven’t heard from him since.
“I know he’s turned down Luton and we’re open to it (Jolley returning). We don’t need to sell this club to him. He knows what we’re all about and the offers he’s getting is because of what he did here.”
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