TRANMERE’S attempts to sign a striker on loan during the January transfer window will have to be funded by players making temporary moves away from Prenton Park.
Manager Les Parry admits Rovers don’t have any money left in the kitty for new faces unless they can lighten the payroll by sending current members of the first-team squad out on loan to other clubs.
Parry is looking for a front player to cover for the prolonged absence of target man Enoch Showunmi and awaiting responses from three Premier League clubs about potential targets.
But he says the budget for loan players this season is now used up.
Parry said: “We don’t have anything in our budget to go out and get players in. I’ll be having a word with a few of our lads – the ones who are not involved in the first team at the moment – and see if they are interested in going out on loan themselves.
“If we get a couple out on loan to play some games, we will benefit from that because it maintains their fitness and competitiveness. It might give a new spark to the season for some of them. Footballers want to play games, not be sitting in the stand watching them.”
Tranmere used up some of the loan budget for this season on Jose Baxter, who crossed the Mersey from Everton to spend just over three months at Prenton Park. The 19-year-old creative attacker returned to Goodison after last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Brentford.
More of the budget is being used up on goalkeeper Paul Rachubka, who is in the second month of a temporary assignment from Leeds United, covering for the absence of broken hand victim Owain Fon Williams.
Showunmi’s long struggle with fitness problems this season has often left Parry short of options for the central striking role.
Mustafa Tiryaki is a natural fit for the position but the Londoner is still learning the ropes in League One after joining Tranmere from non league Havant and Waterlooville during the summer.
Parry says Showunmi’s difficulties can be traced back to the broken leg he sustained in April of last season.
“The leg never settled completely,” Parry said. “When Enoch gets a knock on it, the leg flares up. It gets a bad swelling on it.
“We have had it scanned and x-rayed and he has been to see the surgeon. Greg Blundell, our physio, is having another meeting with the surgeon and he is going to look at what other investigations we can do.”
Parry added: “The problem with Enoch is pushing us a little bit. We are looking for loan players who can play anywhere across the front line, not just down the middle.
“We are hoping we can get something done this week. We’re waiting on a response from three Premier League clubs. If one of those comes in we will be delighted.”
The injury problems are easing in other areas of the squad. Centre back Ian Goodison came through two substitute appearances in games last week without a negative reaction from a hamstring problem and will be training normally this week.
Right-back Danny Holmes is hoping to resume training later in the week after limping out of the Brentford game with a slight hamstring problem.
Parry said he is not sure how quickly a foot injury to midfielder Joss Labadie will settle.
Meanwhile Tranmere will be facing opponents with a new manager when they travel to Yeovil Town on Saturday. The struggling Glovers replaced Terry Skiverton with Gary Johnson yesterday. Johnson is returning for a second spell with Yeovil after guiding the club’s climb from the Conference to League One during the first, which ended just over six years ago. Johnson later had spells at Bristol City, Peterborough United and Northampton Town.
BOARD members from the Tranmere Rovers Trust are to meet this week with Dean Johnson, the Wirral musician who is campaigning against the club’s plans to sell the Ingleborough Road training ground for housing development.
The Trust support the Ingleborough housing scheme, which is linked with plans to redevelop the Woodchurch Leisure Centre into a new training complex for the club. Dean Johnson supports campaigners who argue that the six acre site at Ingleborough Road should be left as a memorial to pupils of the Birkenhead Institute School who fell during the First World War.
Wirral Council planners are considering Tranmere’s proposals – and the objections – and no date for a decision is currently set.
Tranmere Trust vice chairman Mark Bartley said: “We would like to discuss face-to-face with Mr Johnson the Ingleborough Road proposals and see if there is any common ground on which we can all agree.
“We believe the current situation is not beneficial to either side and an amicable meeting seems to be the logical way forward.”