City have told Ross Hannah’s potential suitors: If you want him, buy him.
The in-form striker is back at Valley Parade from his prolific spell with Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Grimsby.
Hannah netted nine goals in 14 games with the Mariners and signed off his three-month stay with the winner against promotion rivals Wrexham on Friday night.
With Hannah returning to City, Phil Parkinson insists he will be part of the squad plans for the holiday period – and has allowed youngster Adam Baker to join Harrogate Town for a month.
But 26-year-old Hannah, whose contract is up in the summer, has not been involved in the first team this season and it looks likely that his future will be elsewhere – but not for another loan spell.
Grimsby are desperate to get him back permanently and promotion rivals Mansfield and Luton are also thought to be monitoring his situation closely.
The chase for Hannah will hot up when the transfer window reopens next week but City will only entertain cash offers.
“Grimsby are interested in signing him and one or two others have made contact, as you would expect with a player who has been scoring regularly,” said Parkinson.
“With the run Ross has had, he is going to attract interest. But there’s no way he’s going on loan again. We’ve stressed that to Grimsby and to anyone else.
“Ross will be with us unless an offer comes in which the board and myself feel is right for the club to accept.
“He has done really well at Grimsby. There were times we could have called him back with the number of games we’ve had in periods this season but we let him stay there for the full three months.
“We wanted to be fair to him and to them. But now he comes back in the picture for the busy Christmas period.”
Grimsby claim they are in talks with City over signing Hannah but admit they are “a little way apart”.
Mariners joint-boss Paul Hurst said: “At the minute, I would say it’s not looking likely, but who knows?
“The downside of the (Wrexham) match being on TV is that there might have been a few more people watching. But Ross loves it here and would love to stay.
“At the same time, if suddenly a different club come in and offer him a much better package, then he’ll obviously look at that.”