Crawley ready for new defensive duo

Claude Davis has left for Rotherham
Claude Davis has left for Rotherham

Crawley Town are confident of recruiting reinforcements if Kyle McFadzean follows Claude Davis out of the Broadfield Stadium.

The Reds were expecting to hear late yesterday whether a protected deal to sell McFadzean to Bristol City was given the go-ahead, and are understood have a replacement lined-up if he were to leave, while manager Richie Barker confirmed he wants two centre-backs after Davis’ departure for Rotherham.

Jamaican international Davis was allowed to leave Crawley for the League Two side on a free transfer, even though he had 18 months remaining on the two-year contract he agreed in August.

But the former Sheffield United, Derby County and Crystal Palace man’s family still live in the Sheffield area, and Barker admitted the move to the New York Stadium suited everyone.

Rotherham’s pull became acute after Davis’ wife gave birth shortly before Christmas, and the 33-year-old was publicly courted by former boss Steve Evans, who signed him while at Crawley in September 2011.

“Because football is an unstable way of life a lot of people do not live in the same place as their family,” Barker - whose young family who live in Hove were among the reasons for his move from Bury to Crawley - said.

“People do move for the right reasons but when the opportunity arises to make family life a bit better, I think everyone would have done the same thing.”

Crawley did not get a fee for Davis, something which would have killed the deal.

Barker added: “I think a lot is made of cancelling the contract, it is a free transfer.

“The chances of us getting any money for Claude were pretty slim bearing in mind his age.

“Once the chance arose for Claude to leave for Rotherham, it would have been unfair to ask them for a transfer fee which would have quashed the deal.

“He will take some replacing, his physical presence for a start and his experience.”

Millers boss Evans said: “It came down to two clubs from around six or seven that wanted Claude, and I think he limited himself to speaking to four of those clubs.

“It was never a surprise to me that he was in big demand, for a year-and-a-half he was outstanding for me.

“Claude is man who will defend with his heart and he’ll be a good signing at the right time for us.”

Barker also confirmed there were ‘a few names’ in the mix to replace Davis and possibly McFadzean were he to leave for Ashton Gate.

Meanwhile, chief executive Richard Low was expecting to hear yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon whether the Robins wanted to proceed with a deal for the 25-year-old defender, after completing medical checks.

McFadzean has not played since November 24 after contracting a virus which affected his respiratory system.