Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has told today's Western Daily Press that he now has a verbal agreement with Southampton manager George Burley to extend the loan of striker Leon Best into a third and final month. Speaking to the paper, Russell said:
"It has verbally been agreed between myself and George Burley. He's happy for Leon's loan to be extended, which is good news."
The WDP claims that Best will be at the club until February 24th, covering just four matches which would cover Carlisle United (away), Tranmere Rovers (home), AFC Bournemouth (away) and Swansea City (home).
This falls slightly short of what Ciderspace had expected. On Thursday (see news story below) Russell stated that he believed Leon had roughly 20 days of his 93 left as part of the emergency loan rules. If true, then this ought to take in the trip to Doncaster Rovers which takes place on February 27th, as the emergency loan window does not reopen until February 8th.
The WDP calculations appear to assume that the third month loan is tagged directly onto the first two months which firstly may not be possible under the loan rules, and secondly would the club want to do it in the first place? Hopefully those at Huish Park have got the rulebook open and are scrutinising all the small print. Fingers crossed!
Slade has also hinted to the paper that the return of Martin Cranie may also be on the cards:
"Of course there is a chance that I might have a conversation with him (Saints manager George Burley) about another one of his players during the week. It would be nice at some stage if we can bring Martin Cranie back as well and we are working on that."
Update 11:30am: We've had some further information supplied on this, and it looks as though the WDP's "four match" calculation is correct. For Yeovil to take Leon Best on loan from February 8th, this would have to be a brand new loan contract and Southampton would have no entitlement to a 24 hour recall. By tagging on the last 20 days immediately to Leon's first two months as a loan extension, Southampton protect themselves by keeping an option of a 24 hour recall on Best, and therefore Yeovil have been unable to have a five day gap between the two loan periods. Leon Best's last game will therefore be the home match against Swansea City.
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