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Benson's move to Cheltenham back on the cards
PAUL Benson’s proposed move to Cheltenham Town could be back on the cards, as Paolo Di Canio looks to free up extra funds at the County Ground.
The striker recently turned down the notion of a move to the League Two outfit, who the Advertiser understands are willing to pay the vast majority of his wages for the remainder of the campaign, but he is now reconsidering his stance.
The Adver has learnt that Benson will watch Cheltenham in action on Friday night, when they entertain Rochdale at Whaddon Road, before making a final decision on whether or not to join the Robins on loan until the summer.
The 33-year-old, who still has 18 months left on his contract at the County Ground, is also believed to be interested in a move to Bristol Rovers but Town are unlikely to sanction that switch on financial grounds.
Southend are understood to be looking at Benson but, with a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final on the horizon, the Shrimpers are more likely to look at a forward who is not cup-tied in that competition.
Meanwhile, Di Canio revealed that Swindon have received an offer for out-of-favour midfielder Lee Cox.
“We have two offers for two of the three players that we want to put out. That can help,” he said.
“I think Cox has got a big chance because it’s a good club he can go to.
“Benson I’m sure in the next two or three days he can have an opportunity because the manager of this club that wanted him before told me they still want him.
“We told him and his agent that this club still want him desperately “This club wants to go up, you know who, and I hope in the next few days he’s going to clarify his brain and think it’s a big opportunity.”
Di Canio yesterday nonsensed reports linking Crystal Palace with a bid for Matt Ritchie, insisting the winger is not for sale.
When asked to give a valuation of his prized asset, the Italian said: “Matt is my player and I like him so my opinion can be totally a manager’s opinion, I don’t know, give me £20million.
“Is it crazy money? I’m joking obviously - £15million is okay.”
Finally, the Town boss confirmed that Danny Hollands’ foot injury is not as bad as first feared, as revealed by the Adver on Wednesday, but the midfielder will still spend six weeks recovering from a microfracture.
Di Canio said: “At the beginning, when I heard that there was a chance of eight to 10 weeks, it’s clear that it was difficult for me.
“The fact that the time was reduced by two or three weeks means a lot.”