Liam Dickinson set to be Port Vale's seventh summer signing
MICKY Adams is in pole position to make Liam Dickinson his seventh signing of the summer.
The striker arrived at Vale Park yesterday and will train with the squad to regain full fitness. Only then will any deal be completed.
Vale brought in three more players yesterday to make it six new arrivals in a week.
Goalkeeper Chris Neal and defenders Dave Artell and Richard Duffy agreed deals to join Ashley Vincent, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Darren Murphy who arrived on Monday.
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But the capture of Dickinson would perhaps be the biggest coup for Adams.
The 27-year-old has not played since breaking his ankle last year, but the manager sees him as a possible replacement for skipper Marc Richards.
"Liam has pace and power and he's a big lad who offers a real threat up front. I'll be delighted if we can get him fit and sign him," he said.
"We are going to miss Marc Richards's goals, but Liam has a decent record."
With other clubs interested in the front man, Adams is refusing to count his chickens, but is confident Vale can seal the deal.
"We are in the driving seat," he added. "Liam will continue his rehabilitation with us. Other clubs have made him the same sort of offer, so the fact he's here gives us a head start.
"But because of the nature of his injury, it's important we check it out before committing ourselves."
The arrivals of former Crewe skipper Artell and Exeter's Richard Duffy means Vale now have six central defenders on their books, but Adams said there would be no players leaving before the start of the season.
He was particularly happy to sign former Shrewsbury stopper Neal, describing him as a "real steal."
The 26-year-old played 39 times as the Shrews won promotion to League One last season, and Adams said: "Every fan who saw our game at Greenhous Meadow last season will tell you what a fine goalkeeper he is. He broke our hearts that day."
Adams was also delighted by the arrival of 31-year-old Artell, who has been released by Crewe.
"David led Crewe to promotion and, while a lot of the other players took the plaudits, he was the glue that held them together," he said.
And of 26-year-old Duffy, who has 13 full international caps, Adams added: "I didn't think we would get him here, so it's fantastic. He's a great addition to the squad."