Barnsley miss out on Kevin Phillips
Barnsley boss Simon Davey has revealed just how close the Reds were in capturing striker Kevin Phillips.
Phillips, who turns 35 on 25th July, bagged 24 goals last season for West Brom, but the former England international has opted to join Birmingham ahead of the 2008/2009 campaign.
Barnsley manager Simon Davey told the club`s official website:
"We have been talking with Kevin and his agent since the end of last season when we learned that he was available. He was very interested in what we had to say and we put an attractive two-year package to Kevin, which meant that his decision to join Birmingham City was not about money."
Barnsley have been hunting for another front-man since the arrival of Iain Hume from Leicester City.
"Kevin`s agent phoned me this morning to say that he had decided to join Birmingham City. It means that Kevin doesn`t have to move his family from the Midlands and he beleives that City, with their parachute payments from the Premier League, have a better chance of winning promotion next season.
"It shows just how far we have come as a football club that we can be in very serious discussions with Kevin throughout the summer. In the end it came down a straight choice between us and Birmingham City and his choice was down to family and football reasons rather than money."
Despite Phillips joining Birmingham, it just shows the Barnsley fans that their club is at least trying to persuade 'box office` players to pull on the red colours of the Tykes.
"I am disappointed for the fans here at Barnsley because Kevin would have been an amazing signing for this football club and he would have been a hero on the terraces. Kevin scored 24 goals last season and that is the calibre of player we want here at Oakwell.
"We have come a long was as a club both on and off the field in the last two years and we will continue to improve. We want to bring that calibre of player here."
Now the Reds have narrowly missed out on Kevin Phillips, Simon Davey will now resume his search for a prolific goal-scorer.