Torquay United manager Martin Ling's delight as Billy Bodin deal is agreed
Only the formalities will remain to be done when Billy Bodin reports to Plainmoor today to complete a £70,000 transfer from Swindon Town to Torquay United.
The two clubs have settled on the fee, and United manager Martin Ling said: “Personal terms are all but agreed –– it’s 95 per cent done. It has been an ongoing saga, but Billy has always been my number one target.”
Ex-Torquay loan signing Bodin, 20, is due to join goalkeeper Michael Poke and former Arsenal defender Thomas Cruise for medical examinations before that pair put pen to paper on their already-agreed contracts.
That will leave Ling chasing only a central defender before he is happy that his squad is ready to go into battle in npower League Two.
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Having sounded out a couple of alternatives, Ling was meeting one of his ‘shortlist’ in that department for initial talks yesterday.
The signing of Bodin, who stayed behind when Swindon went to a training camp in Italy last weekend, will end a long quest for Ling. He has wanted to bring the Wales Under-21 international to Plainmoor ever since he took charge there a year ago.
Ling had to be content with a loan deal for just over four months last season, and Swindon boss Paolo di Canio then turned down both another loan and a £40,000 offer from Torquay in January.
Although the new figure is officially undisclosed, it is a measure of Ling’s determination and his faith in Bodin’s ability and potential that he has been prepared to pay only £5,000 less than the club’s record transfer fee. They paid Peterborough United £75,000 for striker Leon Constantine in December 2004.