DAVID Sharpe will not be raiding his Mansfield contacts book to bring them all to City.

The head of football operations revealed that he previously tried to sign latest Valley Parade recruit Neill Byrne for the Stags.

City have been linked with Mansfield defender Callum Johnson and there are rumours about Gillingham’s transfer-listed midfielder George Lapslie, who played at Field Mill before.

But Sharpe has laughed off any suggestions that he will only be targeting players with a connection to his old club.

“We can’t just sign players because they’ve been at Mansfield and I was there,” he said.

“Graham (Alexander), Stephen (Gent), Ryan (Sparks), everybody has to be comfortable with it.

“Trust me, I wouldn’t want all Mansfield players. There were players we got wrong there with recruitment.

“You don’t get them 100 per cent right. You do well to get a ratio of 65-70 per cent good ones.

“That’s the obvious link and people will always assume. But the first two we’ve signed haven’t come from Mansfield.

“If there’s a player that has been at Mansfield and is available and I feel can have a big impact here, then certainly he’ll be one I will bring to the table.

“It won’t just be because I know them. But it does help knowing how well they’ve done elsewhere and a promotion on the CV is always a good sign.

“We’ll see but there’s nothing imminent right now on that front.

“The only one was Neill Byrne, who was somebody that was on our shortlist at Mansfield.

“I was very close to doing a deal last summer with his agent but he decided he wanted to stay at Stockport.

“I knew exactly where the parameters of the deal were and the numbers, so it was pretty straightforward to do when he became available.”

City have swooped for Byrne and his former Stockport team-mate Antoni Sarcevic so far. Another Hatters player, midfielder Ryan Croasdale, is also a reported target.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mansfield celebrate sealing promotion to League OneMansfield celebrate sealing promotion to League One (Image: PA Wire)

Sharpe has made it clear that some need to be moved on from the current squad to create more room but that could take time.

“It’s my first transfer window,” he added. “There are players here that we don’t see being here in the long term but they have got contracts.

“We said when I appointed Nigel Clough at Mansfield that we needed four transfer windows to get in a position where we felt we could get promoted.

“We got to the play-off final, finished eighth and then finally got promoted.

“I’m not saying it’s like that here. It took that long at Mansfield because we completely changed the whole squad.

“Here there’s a base they’ve recruited with the likes of Andy Cook, Alex Pattison, Jamie Walker, Brad Halliday – players that would get in most, if not every other League Two team.

“I feel if we can add bits to that, which we’ve already done, then there’s no reason why we can’t be challenging next season.

“Patience is a big word in football. It would be ideal if that did pan out but it’s the same being said at every football club.

“Ours is just more voices and more expectation. We have to deliver and can’t keep talking about patience – that is the aim.”