Leyton Orient director of football Martin Ling understands the dilemma of transfer target Ebou Adams
PUBLISHED: 17:31 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 17 May 2018
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The O’s director of football confirms the club have put a ‘very good financial offer’ on the table for the Norwich City under-23 midfielder
Leyton Orient director of football Martin Ling is hopeful the club will be able to sign former loanee Ebou Adams, but concedes a lot will come down to whether the 22-year-old is willing to drop out of the Football League.
The former Dartford youngster is set to be a free agent from June 30 after Norwich City’s under-23s decided against extending his contract at Carrow Road.
Adams quickly endeared himself to the O’s faithful with his all-action performances in the centre of midfield and many people, including head coach Justin Edinburgh, want him to sign a permanent deal at Brisbane Road.
Ling believes Orient have given the Londoner a ‘very good financial offer’ but knows a lot will depend on whether he is happy to be a National League player after time at Norwich and on loan at League One outfit Shrewsbury Town last season.
He said: “We have been talking to Ebou on and off for a couple of months. He did well after a month or six weeks and we said to him if you are going to be leaving Norwich we want to sign you.
“Ebou was 90 per cent sure he would be out of contract with Norwich once the season had finished and he had a conversation with them and all we said from the start is we are a club which would like to sign you.
“We have said this all the way through and we have had ongoing negotiations since and I don’t know what is on the table for Ebou from elsewhere, but I think I can work out in my own head what his dilemma will be.
“His dilemma will be ‘do I come and play for a club like Leyton Orient who I love playing for and they love me, but they are in the National League’ or ‘do I go to a Football League club.’
“Now he had a little taste of playing at a Football League club last year and didn’t play too much, so the fact he went to Shrewsbury and didn’t feature a lot might help us, so the dilemma for him is where he would be the number one or two in our squad, he would be number three or four elsewhere.
“The hurdle we have to get over is we are not a Football League club and that does sometimes damage us when we are trying to sign players and sometimes I have to turn myself back into that player and say what would I do if I was that person?
“If I am honest, my thinking would be ‘I want to stay in the Football League’ because it has that kudos and extra thing about it, but the difference is you know you will play here, you don’t know if you will play elsewhere.
“We have put a very good financial offer in for Ebou and as good an offer as we can for someone of his age, I really do believe that, and I don’t think his decision is anything to do with finances.
“I think we have matched whatever we needed to match in terms of finances and now it is about the level he wants to play his football at.”
While Orient await more on negotiations with Adams, it looks unlikely Dan Holman will return to Brisbane Road.
The Cheltenham Town forward didn’t score during his loan spell at the O’s, but did impress with his performances between January and March before a toe injury ended his campaign prematurely.
Holman has since been released by Cheltenham, but he isn’t set for a return to Orient and fellow loanee Lamar Reynolds has also gone back to Newport County.
Ling added: “Dan went back to Cheltenham and then got released, but I would say it is more of a no with Dan at the moment.
“I know there is a player in there. I saw him at the training ground and he was a good finisher and in games he looked like he was going to be a good finisher, but he never finished, so I feel he was unlucky.
“He really was unlucky and I think there’s a player in there that could possibly go and bang goals in this league, but we will go in another direction rather than Dan.”
It is a no for Holman then, but Orient do remain hopeful Adams will eventually agree a permanent move to the National League club.