Port Vale: We were priced out of Lionel Ainsworth deal - Adams
MICKY Adams has revealed just how close he was to signing jet-heeled winger Lionel Ainsworth, who will line-up against Port Vale this afternoon when Rotherham are in town (3pm).
Ainsworth, aged 24, was a wanted man when he came to the end of his contract at Shrewsbury Town.
And Adams says the player had narrowed it down to a straight choice between hard-up Vale and this afternoon's flush opponents.
"We were very, very close to landing Lionel," said the Vale manager. "In the end it was between us and Rotherham, and we could not give him as much as they could."
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Adams admitted in June he had missed out on several key transfer targets because Vale were still in administration.
He was at the opposite end of the spending spectrum to his Rotherham counterpart Steve Evans, who received strong financial backing from his chairman, Tony Stewart.
Evans has signed 12 players in all, including Wales international Craig Morgan and former Bolton man Nicky Hunt. Both are expected to make their debuts today.
Yet despite their disparate financial status, both Vale and the Millers are among the early League Two front-runners, and either could go top today with a win.
Adams, who clashed with Evans on the sidelines last season, said: "Steve and I have had some battles in the past and I'm sure we will have some in the future.
"But he knows I want the best for my football club and he certainly wants the best for his club. It's not about us, it's about the two teams.
"He has brought in a lot of players who he will need to keep happy, but I would rather have his pressure than mine.
"I wouldn't say he has been shrewd – nine out of 10 managers would sign the players he has. The key was to get them playing together, and he's managed that."
FORMER Vale keeper Stuart Tomlinson has joined Burton in a four-month deal.