Peterborough United open the door for Bristol Rovers to sign Jonson Clarke-Harris

A failed deadline day transfer could be revived as selling club Peterborough United envisage a January departure.
Peterborough United expect Jonson Clarke-Harris to leave in January. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Peterborough United expect Jonson Clarke-Harris to leave in January. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Peterborough United expect Jonson Clarke-Harris to leave in January. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony says he expects Bristol Rovers transfer target Jonson Clarke-Harris to depart in January.

Clarke-Harris was involved in a failed deadline day transfer to the Gas, and the door has not firmly been shut on a return to the Memorial Stadium. The 29-year-old was seen as the final piece of the jigsaw of what looked like a strong transfer window for Rovers.

He remained at London Road, and despite the public news that he was available for transfer, he has kept his head down and featured several times for them since. Clarke-Harris has six goals in 17 games this season, however he was dropped against Blackpool at the weekend after manager Darren Ferguson put forward the ideas of utilising the options that have a long-term future to the club.

"We didn’t think we would still have Jonson Clarke-Harris so we wanted speed at centre forward so we could rely on quick and incisive football rather than having a big number nine in the penalty area,” MacAnthony said on his Hard Truth podcast.

“When Jonno stayed we couldn’t just park a man with his record until he left in January,”

“And to be fair the manager has used him in plenty of games."

A club record-deal to sign Clarke-Harris was agreed but the necessary paperwork was not completed in time, and the EFL did not allow the move. Rovers ended up signing former Bristol City striker Chris Martin on a free transfer, and now it remains to be seen whether they'd re-sign him.

The club have since parted with first-team manager Joey Barton, and are now on the search for his successor. Clarke-Harris has a pedigree at this level, having twice been the Golden Boot winner. He has 102 goals in 262 games in the third tier of English football, and 24 of those came in the blue-and-white quarters.

Despite playing his way back into the managers plans, the Peterborough chairman admits that he expects to see Clarke-Harris depart the club when the January transfer window opens. Rovers have an obvious desire to be challenging at the top end of the table, and whoever succeeds Barton will have a decision to make on that.

MacAnthony said: "The next transfer window is approaching so the manager made a decision to go with more pace up front because we need to find things out and ‘Jonno’ accepted it as we knew he would because he is a complete professional.

"He will still contribute and then he will get a good move with a good contract in January."