Rumoured Bristol Rovers transfer target lifts lid on Charlton move amid Gillingham interest

One of League One’s biggest transfer sagas finally has an ending - Alfie May has joined Charlton Athletic, and he’s revealed why.
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Alfie May says he is delighted to join Charlton Athletic from Cheltenham Town, amid a transfer saga that involved Bristol Rovers.

The 30-year-old has put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with the Addicks with an option of a third, and joins for a fee that is expected to be around £250,000. He had been linked to Bristol Rovers, Gillingham, and Derby County over the last month, and has chosen to remain in League One, whilst moving closer to his base near Kent.

It was reported by BristolLive that 'positive' talks had been held at Rovers training ground earlier this week, and were willing to pay the same wage and give May the same contract length at Charlton, but May's preference was to return to South London, and no official transfer bid was made. May's 43 goals in League One over the last two seasons for a team that has finished below mid-table each time made him one of the leagues most in-demand players.

"There have been a few rumours over the last couple of weeks but I'm buzzing to be here," said May in an interview with Charlton's official club website.

"I'm sort of a local lad, to come back home with my family, it means a lot, and I can't wait to get started. You see the support that Charlton have at The Valley and what it brings as a stadium when the fans get going and you want to be a part of that as a player. I can’t wait to get started.”

Asked what his discussions were like with his new boss Dean Holden, he responded: "I think he was the same as me, we were sort of hearing the rumours and understanding of what's going to happen, I think we're both just happy to get it done, and start working together.

May was born in Gravesend in Kent, and whilst Gillingham were interested and hold lofty ambitions to get out of League Two, at this stage of his career, May remaining in the third tier was the best move for his career. He battled through rejection to get back into the professional game after being released by Millwall at 14-years-old, and Cheltenham have now made a significant profit from the £5,000 they paid to Doncaster Rovers in January 2020.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Alfie has chosen to sign for Charlton Athletic," said former Bristol City boss Dean Holden. He’s a player I’ve been keen to recruit since the very end of last season and he showed a great deal of desire and hunger to join us over other clubs.”

CEO Peter Storrie aded: “The purchase of Alfie May is one we’ve been working on for while. There were a lot of clubs looking to sign him but he was a key target for us and he wanted to join us, so we’re all really pleased we’ve got the deal done and he’s a Charlton player

Rovers will now move on to alternative transfer targets, having already brought in Jevani Brown who got 21-goal contributions for Exeter City last year, as well as re-signing Luke Thomas from losing play-off finalists Barnsley. Social media rumours linked last season's top scorer Aaron Collins with a move to Coventry City, but those rumours are wide of the mark with the Sky Blues set to sign Ellis Simms, but one Championship club that is understood to hold an interest is Stoke City.