Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke has explained some of the background that led to him placing an unsuccessful bid for Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan during the January transfer window. The Gas have been the one club to go public over their interest in the 22 year old, with at least one other club having met a release clause in Khan's contract that entitled him to hold talks with rival clubs. Rovers' interest in the player was tied up with parallel attempts to take attacking midfielder Kyle Bennett from Portsmouth - something that they only managed to conclude on the morning after the window closed.
Clarke has explained that he had already lodged an unsuccessful bid for Bennett earlier in the transfer window, but that fell through due to what he described as 'politics' - the fact that Rovers and Pompey lie only three points apart in the table might have something to do with that. The Rovers boss said that when the deal for Bennett collapsed, he turned to Khan and attempted to lure him to the Memorial Stadium - hitting another dead end when Khan himself decided to turn down the approach.
In the meantime, it appears that 27 year old Bennett was taking matters into his own hands by negotiating his own exit from Fratton Park by mutual consent, and that allowed Clarke to make a second attempt to sign him, eventually concluding the deal on February 1st - something he was able to do thanks to Bennett's free agent status. Clarke gave BBC Somerset his view on the two players:
"Kyle is a lad that I've admired for a long long time. He was the player that fell through earlier in the window. It's just nice that a bit of patience has paid off. Football politics was involved in that particular move. Eventually we got it over the line. With Kyle, when that (initially) fell through, we worked on Otis Khan. A fee was agreed, but the lad wanted to stay at Yeovil. All the best to him; that's football. I could name hundreds that you potentially look at and you think about. I could be sat here for ages with the amount of phone calls, and the amount of times that you're talking on the phone and seeing what's about. But I'm pleased with the business that we've done."
Clarke doesn't divulge how much Rovers bid for Khan, and doesn't give any hints as to why the Glovers player decided to reject the over from the League One club.
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