Richard Money has been quick to stress that the £50,000 capture of long-term target Robbie Willmott from Cambridge United isn’t a move that paves the way for Andy Drury to leave Luton Town.
The transfer window closes at midnight tomorrow and the Hatters’ star has been the subject of interest from Ipswich Town over the last week.
On Friday, Tractor Boys assistant manager Chris Hutchings confirmed that he is still on their wanted list, saying: “We are interested in Luton’s Andy Drury but we don’t have any magic wand and there are obstacles to overcome in every potential signings, over personal terms and family considerations.”
This came after the Hatters’ summer signing from Stevenage fuelled the flames of rumour on Tuesday when he suggested that he might have played his last game for the club following Town’s 1-0 Conference win over Grimsby Town.
Immediately after those comments, manager Money said adamantly that no bid had been accepted, and on Friday he reiterated his position.
“There’s been no movement,” he said.
“I will be delighted if he is still a Luton Town player after the transfer window. I don’t want him to go and I hope nobody goes.” Asked whether he could be in for a busy Monday, he said: “I hope it will be quiet and so that after this [Willmott signing] that will be us done.”
The Hatters tied up a two-year, deal for highly-rated 20-year-old U’s midfielder after The Abbey side had turned down two five-figure bids from Grimsby. The Town supremo revealed however, that he was a player that he has coveted for quite some time.
“I’m very pleased to get it done,” said Money. “Cambridge made it common knowledge that they would let him go in this transfer window and we acted as quickly as we could.
“There were a lot of clubs interested in him.
“He attracted big interest when he first got in to the team and then, as quite often happens with young players, he had a levelling off period but has improved this season.
“It think it’s fair to say that most of the bigger clubs in our division were interested in him and one or two clubs as far up as the Championship.
“We tried to sign him two or three times and it’s always nice, with Monday still to come, to get the deal done with some comfort.” Crocked winger Charlie Henry was this week confirmed as a doubt for the rest of the season with, what Money called a ‘one in a million’ ligament injury. Adam Newton hasn’t played since September, so the Willmott signing is seen as another option on the flanks.
“He’s a wide player and with Henry and Newton likely to struggle, it’s great to have the option,” said Money.
“He’ll add to our attacking options anyway. His goal ratio from that position is something like one in four.
“Last week we had to put Matthew Barnes-Homer out on the wing against Gateshead. He’s our top scorer so it was not what we wanted, but it was our only option. We felt we needed some more competition in those areas and are lucky that the investors have seen it the same way.
“We have a young, emerging team with players that we think we can help improve. It shows that our recruitment is good and that we plan, we don’t react.” Willmott has been given an England C call-up and Money joked: “Pretty soon we’ll have half the national side playing for us.”
His arrival at Luton means that the club now have four youngsters including Jake Howells, Matthew Barnes-Homer and Amari Morgan- Smith selected for the national squad to face Belgium at Kenilworth Road in the semi-final of the International Challenge Trophy on Wednesday, February 9.