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Gower in Championship talks

Winger set to become a free agent

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 12/06/08 12:48pm

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Gower: Weighing up options

Gower: Weighing up options

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Southend have confirmed that Mark Gower is holding discussions with a Championship club.

The out-of-contract winger is set to become a free agent at the end of the month, but has been offered a new two-year deal to stay at Roots Hall.

Shrimpers boss Steve Tilson is hoping that the 29-year-old will decide to remain at the club, but admits that he may be lured away by offers from elsewhere.

"I'm expecting to hear back from Mark by the end of the week but I really don't know if he's going to stay," he said.

"We've made him a good offer to stay - the best we can afford in actual fact - and I hope he stays because he's an excellent player.

"But I know he's been talking to a Championship club and he is weighing up his options. We couldn't have done any more to keep him."

Integral

While Tilson remains in the dark as to whether Gower will still be part of his plans next season, Alan McCormack definitely will be.

The midfielder has penned a new three-year deal, ending speculation surrounding his future.

The 24-year-old was a virtual ever-present for the club last season and his manager is delighted at his decision to stay.

"It's great news for us as Alan was an integral part of things last season," said Tilson.

"There was bound to have been interest in him, but we are glad that he has chosen to stay here."

Physical

Meanwhile, Gillingham have refuted suggestions that they are the unnamed League Two side who have agreed a fee for the Shrimpers' wantaway striker Charlie MacDonald.

The Gills have made no secret of their desire to bring a striker of League One calibre to Priestfield, but their manager Mark Stimson insists that MacDonald is not that man.

"He's not the type of player I need and if anything I need some more physical," he said.

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