A STRIKER that Richie Wellens believed he was close to signing this summer is earning £1,000 per week more than what he was offered by Swindon Town.

Wellens was under the belief that he had secured the services of one of his top targets weeks ago, but any hope of a deal being signed was ended when one of Town’s League Two rivals stumped up a weekly contract worth four figures more than what Swindon could afford to offer.

The 39-year-old manager admitted he simply cannot compete with the wages being offered by Town’s rivals – and targets have subsequently been missed.

He told the Adver: “I lost out on a striker I thought I was close to getting, and I lost out on him by a thousand pounds (per week).

“Some of the clubs in our league are spending three or four thousand – maybe even a bit more – each week on players.

“We cannot pay that. If we missed out on the player by a couple of hundred pounds, then I would have been gutted.

“But when he told me what he got offered, I understand.

“Football is a short career, and are money motivated sometimes – which is fine.”

Wellens plans to have at least three new faces in his squad by time Town travel to Scunthorpe for the opening League Two fixture of the season on Saturday, August 3.

It is possible that two faces could be officially added to the squad before Coventry’s visit to Wiltshire on Saturday.

But, again, money is playing a key part in negotiations.

Wellens added: “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see some of the names that are being signed.

“We tried for those names, but haven’t been able to get them over the line.”