Port Vale: Micky Adams ready to bring in more faces after Chris Birchall deal
PORT Vale boss Micky Adams is planning to sign up to four more players in this month's transfer window after making Chris Birchall his first capture.
The Sentinel understands Adams has also held talks this week with Plymouth central defender Darren Purse.
The 35-year-old former Birmingham, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday centre-back is the Pilgrims' captain, but has been told he can leave.
Central defence has become a priority for Adams because John McCombe has been ruled out for at least six weeks with a knee ligament injury.
Birchall, aged 28, has signed a contract with the Valiants until the end of the season, having spent a month training at Vale Park.
The midfielder will go into the squad for tomorrow's home game with Plymouth (3pm) if the Valiants can get international clearance before today's noon deadline.
Adams is hopeful of having two new players, including Birchall, eligible for the Plymouth game.
He added: "We are well down the road in terms of signing a couple of players. If we can do it for Saturday then great.
"If we can't, then the fans can rest assured that there will be maybe four or five new faces joining the club."
The move is a welcome return home for Birchall, from Yarnfield near Stone, whose last action was with Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew in the United States.
Birchall came through the youth ranks at Vale Park and became the first Vale player to appear in a World Cup when he played for Trinidad and Tobago in the 2006 tournament.
His impressive performances in that competition helped persuade Adams to pay £300,000 to take him from Vale to Coventry.
Birchall also played for Brighton before moving to the United States in 2009 to sign for LA Galaxy where he was a team-mate of David Beckham.
Birchall won the MLS title with LA Galaxy and also played against AC Milan and Barcelona for the club before moving to Columbus Crew last season.
He's been looking to return to English football and is delighted to be linking up with his first club.
He said: "This is an exciting time for the club and I'm pleased that Micky has given me the chance to sign.
"Vale will always hold a special place in my heart and I've kept a close eye on the club's fortunes since I left, even when I was playing in America.
"Hopefully now I can play a part in changing those fortunes for the better."
A busy month of transfer activity will be seen as a statement of intent by Vale's new owners Paul Wildes and Norman Smurthwaite.
Adams says bringing in new signings will give him the best chance of ensuring second-placed Vale clinch promotion from League Two in May.
He said: "Other teams such as Gillingham and Fleetwood are doing it. They have massive budgets, bigger than we have.
"They are adding to their squads for the final push and I feel in certain areas we need to freshen up."