MICHAEL Flynn has given up hope of Scott Twine returning to Newport County AFC but says he has already secured deals for three players - with another handful of signings on his wishlist.

Twine was recalled from his season-long loan by Swindon this week after making a huge impression in the Exiles' push for promotion from League Two.

County made a bid for the attacking midfielder but Flynn admits the 21-year-old is heading for a higher level.

When asked if he was still hopeful of a return for Twine, the manager replied: "No. There are a few bigger clubs interested than us."

Twine is one of five loanees that have left Rodney Parade with influential defender Brandon Cooper recalled by Swansea, injured forward Saikou Janneh going back to Bristol City and fringe figures Bradley Webb and Aaron Lewis returning to Bristol City and Lincoln respectively.

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County have brought in promising West Brom forward Owen Windsor – although he is cup-tied for Sunday’s FA Cup encounter with Brighton – and there are set to be plenty more new boys arriving.

“I've done three but they are not announced yet so I will have to keep quiet, while I am looking for another four or five if I am honest," said Flynn, whose side are second in League Two.

"Five loans have gone back and there might be one or two from the squad leaving. I cannot be left short with the position that we are in. I want to make sure that we cover all bases."

County host Brighton in the FA Cup on Sunday and then return to League Two action against Salford a week on Saturday.

The loss of Twine and Cooper presents an opportunity for those who have been fringe figures to step into the XI before new signings arrive.

“It's down to a couple of others now to step up and stake their claim for a spot on the team,” said Flynn.

“I am hoping that it won't be such a big loss to lose them because that will mean someone has come in and done well, but they are two very good players. If you look from the start of the season they were exceptional for us.”