Billy Bodin hints at Swindon exit and rouses interest from Torquay United
Torquay United are likely to be near the head of the queue for Billy Bodin, if the young Swindon Town forward does leave the Wiltshire club.
The former Torquay loan signing, 20, has been offered a new -year contract by the Robins, but he has yet to accept and manager Paolo Di Canio is hinting that it might be better for the Wales Under-21 international to leave the County Ground because he cannot guarantee him the first-team football which Bodin craves.
"This sounds like he doesn't want to stay," says Di Canio, who led Swindon to the npower League Two title last season.
"I think he is an intelligent guy, but once he told the media, 'if I don't get regular football, I want to move on somewhere else', it means he wants to leave.
"With me, he knows he can't have a place guaranteed, but it's up to him.
"We've offered the contract and we know the rules – if he decides to leave, then someone has to give the money that we offered him.
"If there is Torquay or some other team ready to pay, I hope he can have a good career."
As a product of Swindon's youth scheme and still under 24, Bodin would command a fee if he did leave. He scored five goals in 17 starts on loan at Plainmoor last season, with United boss Martin Ling reportedly offering £40,000 for him at one stage.
Swindon declined to sell him, and they also refused to loan him back to Torquay in February, eventually agreeing to let him play for Crewe Alexandra, where he helped the Alex to reach the play-offs and, eventually, win promotion.
Ling, who has known Bodin since he was a child through his friendship with Swindon coach and former Town team-mate Paul Bodin, has always indicated that he would be interested if Bodin became available.
The close-season is in "phoney war" mode at the moment, with the transfer market yet to hot up because most players are still away on holiday.
One of those is United midfielder Eunan O'Kane, who may well leave Plainmoor after two-and-a-half years if the right offer comes along.
Crawley Town, who beat Torquay to promotion last season, are the latest club being linked with the former Everton youngster.
New Crawley manager Sean O'Driscoll probably has the financial clout to do a deal, and certainly has the football philosophy to appeal to O'Kane.
What Ling would like more than anything is some definite movement either way as soon as possible. He cannot nail down his next moves, for Bodin or anybody else, until he knows exactly what extra resources he has available.