SWINDON Town have had an approach to speak to Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans rejected, the Nottinghamshire club confirmed this afternoon.

The 54-year-old Scot is Town's number one target for the vacancy left by the departure of head coach Luke Williams earlier this month, with the Advertiser reporting earlier this afternoon that they had approached the Stags to speak to Evans about the role and were ready to put a deal on the table.

However, Mansfield chairman John Radford confirmed this afternoon that he had refused Swindon permission to speak to Evans.

Radford said: “Steve is fully committed to Mansfield Town Football Club and we will allow for no distractions as we set about our work to mount a serious promotion challenge in 2017-18.

“I have refused Swindon Town permission to talk to our manager, who is under contract at One Call Stadium, and work continues behind the scenes at our club as we put together a squad which we believe will be highly competitive in Sky Bet League Two next season. 

"Steve has my full backing ahead of next season as we aim to fulfil the dreams of a town and its people.

“There is a tremendous buzz around One Call Stadium right now as we build for next season. I encourage the people of the county to back Steve and his soon-to-be new look squad by purchasing a season ticket for 2017-18, which have already been very well received by our supporters." 

Evans is currently under contract with the Stags, with two years remaining on his current deal and could be in line for a large bonus should he steer Mansfield to League One next season, having narrowly missed out on the play-offs after only taking charge last November.

Evans is good friends with Town chairman Lee Power from their time together at Boston United, where Evans was manager at the time and brought the former Norwich City striker to the then-Southern League club for a fee of £25,000 from Halifax Town.

Stags chairman Radford held talks with Evans last week and has given his manager his full backing, promising a budget to compete for promotion in League Two, after Evans aired his concerns earlier this month.

He has already started to make good on that promise, making goalkeeper Conrad Logan their first signing of the summer and adding defender Zander Diamond from Northampton Town last week.

However, Power appears determined to right the wrongs of last season and has indicated that he wants to appoint Williams’ replacement by the end of this week, promising the incumbent a budget to work with and 100 per cent control of the club’s recruitment policy, a complete U-turn on seasons gone past.