πŸ‘€ | Wimbledon hitman a target for Mariners

Another AFC Wimbledon connection linked with a move to Blundell Park this summer is striker James Hanson.

The 31-year-old is keen to move back north, after a season in the capital, and Blundell Park could be his preferred destination.

Mariners’ boss Michael Jolley has been an admirer of the former Bradford City favourite for some time, and tried to bring the player to the club last summer, when he left Sheffield United.

But it was the Dons’ who stumped up the fee for the 6’4″ striker, and he went onto score five times in 34 outings for the club.

Hanson’s wife and young daughter remained in the north though, and now the striker is ready to return to his roots.

The stumbling block for the Mariners is the player’s wages. It is understood the Dons will allow the striker to leave for free but also that the player is on a reported Β£4,000 per week contract.

It is believed the player will take a pay cut to make the move but that may still be more than the Mariners can afford, as Jolley looks to keep the wage structure in place at Blundell Park.

Hanson was on the books of both Huddersfield Town and Bradford City as a youngster, but it was with Guiseley where he first came to prominence with a haul of 44 goals in just 91 outings.

That form paved the way for a return to Valley Parade in July 2009, for a bargain Β£7,500. He spent eight years with the Bantams, becoming a hugely popular figure, as he helped the club reach the final of the 2013 League Cup, win the 2013 League Two Play-Offs, and also beat Chelsea in the 2015 FA Cup.

After rejecting a bid from Millwall for the player in 2015, the Bantams reluctantly sold the striker to rivals Sheffield United in January 2017. In total he played 335 times for the Bantams, scoring 91 times.

He helped the Blades win the League One title in his first six months at Bramall Lane, but was persistently linked with a return to Bradford. He instead spent much of 2017/18 on loan at Bury, before joining the Dons last season.

Jolley has made no secret of his desire to bring more firepower to Blundell Park, and a target man striker has always been on the shopping list. Hanson fits that bill perfectly and could fill the void left by the departure of last season’s top scorer Wes Thomas.

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