Alan Knill close to making Joss Labadie his first signing as Torquay United boss
Torquay United manager Alan Knill is closing in on his first signing at Plainmoor, with Notts County midfielder Joss Labadie believed to be close to completing a loan move to Plainmoor.
United are hoping that final details will be sorted in time for Labadie, 22, to join the rest of the Gulls' squad in the build-up to Saturday's npower League Two home game against Oxford United.
The 6ft 2in tall Croydon-born player signed for Notts County from Tranmere Rovers last summer, after starting his career at West Bromwich Albion.
Knill, who was due to watch Oxford play Rotherham United at Kassam Stadium last night, has been reluctant to identify his transfer targets in the face of some recent rebuffs. But he has been able to concentrate on strengthening his attack in the last few days, after receiving more encouraging news over the fitness of central defender Aaron Downes.
Downes hopes to resume training with Torquay tomorrow, after being ruled out by a hamstring injury.
Labadie, who saw action from the Magpies' bench as recently as last Saturday's 1-0 League One win over Carlisle United, gained experience in loan moves from West Bromwich to Shrewsbury Town, Cheltenham Town and Tranmere, before joining the Birkenhead club full-time in 2010. He spent two years at Brunton Park before last summer's move to County.
As long as there are no last-minute hitches to the Labadie deal, Knill will concentrate on another forward signing as he tries to haul United out of relegation trouble.
Three young Torquay players have been lined up for loan moves to Evo-Stik League Southern clubs.
Wingers Saul Halpin and Karl Baker are expected to join Premier Division team Bideford later this week, while centre-half Kirtys McKenzie is set to join Division One South and West side Taunton Town.
Former Torquay midfielder Sean Joyce, Bideford's long-serving manager, has borrowed several players from Plainmoor over the years, while Taunton's assistant manager is ex-Tiverton Town boss Martyn Rogers.