Crewe Alex: Steve Davis confident he's got his man as Mark Ellis deal looms
STEVE Davis hopes to unveil centre-half Mark Ellis as his first signing of the summer after going close to agreeing a fee in the region of £80,000 with Torquay.
The Crewe manager targeted the 23-year-old former Bolton trainee as he looked for a younger replacement for Dave Artell.
Davis had hoped to bring in a defender with League One experience to help his young side adjust to life in a higher division.
But he has no qualms about putting his faith in youth once again after discovering that stoppers at the higher level cost too much.
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He said: "We are in advanced talks to bring in a centre-half. We are not far away in terms of a transfer fee and hopefully it will develop over the next day or two.
"He's not the experienced player we were originally targeting because that experience comes at a cost.
"Most of our discussions have found that out very quickly.
"We have to offer players other incentives rather than money. They are not here to get rich playing, but they will be given the opportunity to get rich in the future."
Davis is back in the thick of the action at Gresty Road after returning from a holiday during which he admitted he was on the phone to agents and players every day.
He had hoped to return to clinch the signing of ex-Swindon Town left-back Callum Kennedy, but the 23-year-old has instead opted to sign for League One rivals Scunthorpe.
Davis added: "We would have liked Callum to have come here. He hasn't played many games for Swindon and would have been a decent player.
"I knew that one or two clubs had spoken to him and Scunthorpe's bid was way beyond what we could offer.
"It's always frustrating when you have agreed verbally with a player and they change their mind, but that happens in football. He's got every right to accept the offer he thought was the best.
"When players move, not just in this situation, they have different motivations.
"Money is very important in a short career, but they can come here to develop and improve. That's our selling point, and they can just look at Nick Powell to see what is possible."