YORK City are in talks to sign Cheltenham Town’s club captain Russell Penn.
The Minstermen have targeted the 28-year-old midfielder, who has fallen out of favour at Whaddon Road during the last two months.
But Penn is under contract with the Robins until the summer of 2015, meaning his manager Mark Yates would be seeking a transfer fee for his services.
The Dudley-born ex-England ‘C’ international has scored 32 goals in 377 games as a League Two and Conference player.
He spent four years at Kidderminster before moving on to Burton for a Brewers’ club record fee of £30,000 in July 2009.
After turning down a new deal at the Pirelli Stadium, Penn then joined Cheltenham, who he has helped reach the League Two play-offs for the last two seasons, making a total of 101 appearances during those campaigns.
The 5ft 11in tall midfielder lost his starting place at Cheltenham, however, after he was substituted at half-time during an FA Cup defeat at Tamworth on November 9.
He has been restricted to just five substitute outings since as Yates’ team embarked on an eight-match unbeaten run prior to last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Mansfield.
On the possibility of bringing Penn to Bootham Crescent, City boss Nigel Worthington said: “We are talking to the club about the player.
“It’s only early days as far as that situation is concerned and we will see how it goes over the course of the next week because he is a player we are interested in and he would bring experience into the group.”
The Minstermen have parted company, meanwhile, with on-loan right-back Luke O’Neill, who has been recalled by parent club Burnley ahead of the Clarets’ FA Cup trip to Southampton this afternoon.
As a consequence, makeshift winger Lanre Oyebanjo will be restored to his more customary right-back role against Dagenham & Redbridge this afternoon.
Added Worthington: “We were half-expecting Luke to be recalled and at least we are covered in that area.
“He has shown his Championship quality for us and has been a great ambassador for Burnley Football Club.
“His deliveries from set-pieces have been second-to-none and, hopefully, he’s picked one or two things up from us along the way too.
“We have been doing a lot of one-to-one work with him on finding his wide man and, if he keeps working hard, he could make a good living from the game.”