RICHIE Wellens has revealed he is close to signing a versatile left-back that can cover Tyler Reid on the right should he be unable to play, thus saving money that can be invested further up the pitch.

Matt Taylor’s retirement and Ali Koiki’s unlikely return following the end of his loan stint means Wellens only has Ellis Iandolo as cover on the left side of defence – a player that made his last Town appearance in January.

The Town boss has made no secret of his desire to spend the majority of his budget on forward-thinking players that can add more goals to the team.

Therefore, capturing his unnamed target will prove to be a key cog in Town’s wheel as the club aims for promotion from League Two at the third time of asking.

“My plan is to get a left-back in, I’ve got a player in mind that I’m quite close to signing,” said Wellens.

“He can play at left and right back. If we get him, we’ll have both positions covered twice with one less body.

“Therefore, rather than having two left backs and two right backs, I’ll have one left back, a right back and one player that can do both.

“That saves me a wage. And I want to spend that in the positions further forward.”

Wellens already has Tyler Reid, Tom Broadbent, Taylor Curran and Joe Romanski as confirmed starters for the 2019-20 season.

Reid was named as the Town boss’ first summer signing earlier this week, while Broadbent and Curran remain in the squad after penning long-term deals in January.

Romanski meanwhile triggered an extension to his contract after accepting Wellens’ offer last month.

It is possible the 19-year-old will head out on loan again this season, following his successful stint at Bath City towards the end of his last campaign.

But choosing whether to stay in Wiltshire or seek experience elsewhere is a ball that’s firmly in the Reading-born defender’s court.

Wellens added: “Whether Joe (Romanski) wants to remain in the first team squad or go out on loan is up to him.

“He will get his opportunities in pre-season.

“If he takes that, then he can be involved in the first-team.

“I don’t see him as a left-back, so I’m going to see him at centre-back. Joe is a great athlete and started well at Bath on loan.

“It was quite an easy one to tie down to a contract. He’s not bothered by money, he just wants to get a career for himself.

“If we do want to loan him out, his wages will be covered very easily.

“Joe is a good kid, and I want to try and help him progress. But it comes down to pre-season.

“If he comes in fit and starts pre-season well then there is every chance he can be involved in the team.”