Big central defender Ben Turner will not be returning to Mansfield Town after turning down the contract offered to him.
Free agent Turner came in as cover for the end of last season and hugely impressed, once fully fit, in the last few games.
Stags boss John Dempster will now look elsewhere, hoping he may be able to find a full back or wing back who can also cover in the centre like Hayden White and Mal Benning.
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On the Turner deal, he said: “That is dead in the water now. We offered terms to Ben that he wasn’t happy with. It didn’t work for him, which I respected.
“But he was very complimentary about the football club and our squad of players and he wished them all well.
“He is a very professional person and a good player and I am sure he will be a real asset for another football club.”
Dempster confirmed he would still look to strengthen at the back.
“Potentially we probably need competition down the right and the left defensively,” he said.
“We have two outstanding players in Mal Benning and Hayden White, but we are lacking a bit of cover there.
“So that’s something I need to look at – maybe a player who can play centre half and a full back position? Or maybe someone who can play wing back and be a bit more attacking?
“We have got a lot of irons in the fire but we have got to be patient.”