SWINDON Town are hoping to have Jordan Turnbull amongst their ranks for the weekend friendly clash with Aston Villa, even if the paperwork for a loan deal is not quite complete.
Turnbull, the young Southampton defender, has been one of Town manager Mark Cooper’s four main transfer targets this summer and joined the club on “work experience” on Tuesday, starting against Leeds United at the County Ground.
Cooper is now confident of tying down the 19-year-old to a season-long stay in Wiltshire and has high hopes that the centre-back, who has trained with his parent club this week, will be back with the Robins when a Villa XI arrive in SN1 on Saturday.
He told the Advertiser: “He’s been back at Southampton and hopefully he’ll be back for the weekend. The more games he plays with us the better he’ll be. Hopefully we can get the paperwork done and get that over the line.”
Meanwhile, Swindon continue to actively pursue Turnbull’s Saints teammate Jack Stephens, with a loan agreement still possible.
“I spoke to Jack last weekend at the friendly. He came in the office to see me. He made no secret of the fact he really enjoyed his time here. He spoke to Jordan about it and gave the club a glowing reference. Jordan was desperate to come,” he said.
“If there’s a chance Jack can play in Southampton’s first team, he’s going to play in their team, isn’t he? If he’s not going to play and he’s going to go on loan I think he’s only going to want to come here.
“The only indication I got (from Southampton manager Ronald Koeman) was that he really likes him. Whether or not he feels he’s ready for the first team yet, I don’t know.”
On Wednesday, Southampton completed the signing of Ryan Bertrand on loan from Chelsea, while they are continuing their pursuit of Villa defender Ron Vlaar - signings which Cooper feels might accelerate the arrival of Stephens in Swindon.
The Town boss said: “I don’t think it will hinder it. I think it will help and hopefully they sign 10 defenders today and let Jack come and play at the weekend or in the early part of next week come train with us. Everybody knows we want Jack, I think he wants to come and play, and hopefully we’ll get that one over the line.”
Meanwhile, Cooper said there was no new update on Brad Smith, the Liverpool left-back wanted by Town.