Exeter wonder kid is Stags’ record transfer target

Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Pic Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Pic Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town caused shockwaves with a club record £350,000 bid for a player this week which Chad now understands is Exeter City wonder kid Ollie Watkins.

Our source said that bid has already been rejected by the Grecians, but there is still just under a week of the transfer window to go and anything could still happen.

Manager Steve Evans confirmed this week that a bid for £300,000 plus extras had been made for a player – doubling the record fee the club paid for Lee Peacock back in 1997.

Chad understands the bid amounted to an eye-catching £350,000 with add-ons, which was a tremendous statement of intent by Mansfield.

Chad understands that Evans has been tailing the 21-year-old Watkins since his time at Leeds United and saw him as a real talent that would be a great investment for the future.

Evans was unavailable for further comment, though at Monday’s press conference he spoke about the player, believed to be Watkins, saying: “He is a young man we’ve watched a few times.

“He is a talented boy who’s got something to bring and gives the opportunity, we think, for the chairman in the future to make some money.

“I think he will be an investment rather than just buying someone for short term gain.

“It would be for longer term, but it would be someone who I think would light up our performances even more – and we’ve been good in recent weeks.

“This would help the group as we have some talent in that dressing room – which we saw on Saturday.”

Newton Abbot-born Watkins graduated from the club’s youth academy having joined City at the age of nine.

He struck eight goals in 10 games at the end of last season, which saw him attract a lot of attention from Championship clubs, and already has double figures this term.