Leyton Orient closing in on replacement for goalkeeper Jamie Jones (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Leyton Orient will not make offer to Hull City's Eldin Jakupovic but O's are closing in on new goalkeeper
Leyton Orient will not be making an offer for Eldin Jakupovic but the O’s are closing in on signing a new goalkeeper to replace Jamie Jones.
Russell Slade needs to find a new number one after Jones turned down the offer of a new contract and moved to League 1 opponents Preston North End on Friday.
Jones ended his six-year spell at the Matchroom Stadium after agreeing a move to Deepdale. The former Everton youth keeper made 37 appearances last season, despite missing three months with a hairline fracture to his back, including the play-off final defeat to Rotherham United.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper played 179 times for the O’s but the Liverpudlian opted to move back to the north.
Supporters appear to have mixed feelings about Jones’ departure and many think it will not be a setback assuming the O’s find an adequate replacement. Orient chairman Barry Hearn insists the club are well on their way to bringing in a new keeper with manager Slade weighing up two options.
Hearn said: “We made him an offer but Jamie was a free agent. He had a significant injury record having missed 90 games over the last three seasons. We wanted to keep him because we made him an offer. But can we replace him? Yes.
“Russell has identified two candidates and will be happy with either one of them.”
Hull City keeper Jakupovic is out of contract this summer and made a major impression during two loan spells at Brisbane Road last season. He kept seven clean sheets in 13 appearances for the O’s but the club cannot afford to make an offer for the 29-year-old Bosnian shot stopper.
Hearn said: “He is a great kid and loved his time here but he is from another level. If people knew what he would cost they wouldn’t even mention his name. His wages would represent a third of our total player budget.”
Jones tweeted: “Thanks for all the kind messages. Iv had a wonderful 6 years at orient an would like to thank the club an fans for every minute.”
Preston boss Simon Grayson told the club website: “Jamie has had two good years at Orient, being at the top end of the division, being very consistent and he is still young with lots of improving still to be done and we feel he will fit in well to the group.”
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