NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh admits he is gutted to lose skipper Gary Warren but admits his move to the Scottish Premier League was almost “written in the stars”.
County boss Edinburgh is currently attempting to assemble a squad for next season with the Exiles set to play at Rodney Parade.
There are likely to be several new arrivals coming to County within the next fortnight and Edinburgh admits he hoped the move to the new stadium might just convince his skipper to stay.
“Gary Warren leaves the club with our best wishes and we want him to be a massive success up there, but personally speaking I’m disappointed,” he said. “I feel that Gary, even though he’s 25-years old, in football terms he’s more like 21 or 22.
“I thought another year with us would be the best thing for his career, he’s only been a professional for one year.
“But look, he’s signed for the ex-England captain who, for my money, played in exactly the same manner Gary does.
“Terry Butcher was a big, brave centre-back and a real leader. What better manager for Gary to play under? You look at the move really and think that it was written in the stars. They are like two peas in a pod.
“Gary will play at Celtic in front of 60,000 people next season and how many players can say they’ve done that?”
The Exiles manager is now working on bringing players in having signed David Pipe to a new contract last week and attracted a new goalkeeper, 29-year old Alan Julian joining from Stevenage in League One.
Midfielder Lee Minshull, on loan last season from Wimbledon, will sign a one-year deal with County today.
The Argus can also reveal several other offers have been made to players in the squad last term.
Striker Ryan Charles, now a free agent after leaving Cambridge United, will also ink a one-year contract sometime this week.
Talks are also ongoing with wingers Romone Rose and Andy Sandell. Edinburgh has made clear to both players he’d like them to stay on.
Another player who was on loan at Newport last term, Max Porter, has also been made a contract offer. He too is likely to agree to remain with the club.
“We are close with some of them, Lee’s coming in to sign his deal and hopefully we’re very close with Max Porter as well,” Edinburgh confirmed.
“Charlesy (Ryan Charles) is another one we are close with and I’ve also had talks with Rose and Sandell.
“I’ve told Andy how much I’d like him to stay and hopefully we can get something done.”
The Exiles are also in talks with a number of potential signings.
The Argus can reveal that negotiations have begun with a centre forward, an attacking midfielder to replace Sam Foley, two central defenders and a defensive midfielder.
“We are looking to bring in the right players and there isn’t a rush on it,” Edinburgh confirmed.
“While my budget isn’t as high as it was last season, it is competitive and we feel we can assemble a good squad.
“If we start the season well and attendances are up then I will be given more room to bring extra players in and that’s the right way to go about it.
“Last season every available penny was there from the start and that’s not the way to go about building a squad.”