Bristol Rovers star attracting transfer interest with ambitious £10m price tag

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An ‘awful lot’ of clubs are said to be interested in Bristol Rovers star man

Andy Mangan has revealed that there was transfer interest in Bristol Rovers marksman Aaron Collins, but that the club did not need to sell their star man.

Collins had a fine first season in League One, and is third for goal contributions over the last 15 years when compared against those who have performed the best. Former Liverpool and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is the only player that averaged more goal actions than he did, and there is still time to go for the Welshman to replicate his form.

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The 25-year-old has 14 goals and 10 assists this season in the league, and whilst former Gas striker Jonson Clarke-Harris has overtaken him as the top scorer, he has still supplied the most goals than anyone else in the division. Across the top four tiers of English football he is only challenged by Erling Haaland, and his form is to be admired.

Despite his consistent run of form, which was continued with a goal against Morecambe last week, there has been no solid speculation about him leaving, other than tentative links with a move to Swansea City on deadline day. Inside the club however, there’s been some interest which hasn’t come out, but the club have been unable to fend off any bids, and didn’t need to sell.

“I think Azza’s been solely focused on performing for Bristol Rovers,” stated Mangan, who was filling in press-conference duties for Joey Barton. “He’s a top player as everyone knows, everyone already knows the numbers.

“His goal involvements, I think he’s number one or number two in the country so everyone’s going to be after Aaron Collins and they should be. Everyone has got scouting departments, everyone knows he’s got fire in both feet.

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“He can run like the wind, he gets hold of the ball, he picks the ball up in lovely areas and he can assist. He’s got fourteen goals and twelve assists, the most in any league so listen Aaron Collins is a fantastic footballer there is an awful lot of football clubs interested in him.

“Because we’ve got such a good owner and CEO we don’t have to sell Aaron, so he can help us until the end of the season and then hopefully he can go and make his international debut and we can sell him for ten million quid.”

Rovers brought in five players over the course of the transfer window with the same amount departing. All the players other than Bobby Thomas moved after finding first-team opportunities limited.

Burnley’s recall of Thomas and his immediate loan out to Barnsley, could have been repeated with both Everton and Middlesbrough having recall options on Lewis Gibson and Josh Coburn respectively. Rovers persuaded them to allow them to see out the season, as well as signing Ellery Balcombe, Jarell Quansah and Lamar Bogarde from Brentford, Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively. The five signings, along with the news that Collins will remain a player at the Mem until at least the summer, has given off the feeling almost of a new signing.

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Mangan said: “We’ve obviously had five go out, who unfortunately for them haven’t been contributing, we’ve brought five in who will contribute. But what people are not realising is we’ve kept Lewis Gibson, who could’ve gone back to Everton, we’ve kept Josh Coburn, who could’ve gone back to Middlesbrough, and we’ve kept Aaron Collins who everyone’s after at the moment.

“Look at it on the over hand, we’ve lost Bobby Thomas, who was recalled so the fact that we’ve actually kept those three players, we’ve actually got eight brand new players again to go and contribute for us so we’re really excited.”

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