EBBSFLEET striker Michael Gash is still “very, very keen” to sign for York City, according to Bootham Crescent chairman Jason McGill.

The former Cambridge United forward’s move to the Minstermen fell through when Ebbsfleet team-mate Darius Charles turned down a transfer to the North Yorkshire outfit almost 12 hours after the club had announced the pair had been “successfully signed.”

Gash and Charles were part of an £80,000 joint deal that had been accepted by Ebbsfleet’s MyFootballClub owners.

But, following Charles’ rejection due to an unwillingness to relocate his pregnant girlfriend, City hope a new bid for Gash, thought to be in the region of £50,000, will be put to another internet vote in Kent.

The position of Ebbsfleet midfielder Neil Barrett, who was successfully signed by City on Monday, is unaffected and he reported for the start of pre-season training today.

McGill hopes that Gash will join Barrett later this week but added the deal could depend on two factors – the manner in which any new City offer is communicated to Ebbsfleet’s MyFootballClub members and the outcome of another poll.

Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish previously recommended the club’s supporters backed the £80,000 offer for Gash and Charles and McGill said: “Michael Gash is very, very keen to come to York City.

“His personal terms have been agreed and it’s down to the Ebbsfleet chairman and manager in relation to how they recommend the deal to the MyFootballClub membership. Then it’s down to the membership and whether they vote in favour of it.

“Those are the two key factors. We like Michael and, having spoken to him yesterday, he’s still keen to come but the set-up at Ebbsfleet is a very difficult structure to deal with.”

McGill also added that he made “extraordinary” efforts late into Monday night to alleviate Charles’ concerns over his girlfriend but new contract concessions came to no avail.

He said: “We restructured the deal to make things more comfortable but we could not change his final decision.

“My only disappointment is that he had this issue prior to him agreeing personal terms and nothing has changed since then.

“We made the announcements because we just assumed the family circumstances had been resolved and didn’t believe there was going to be a problem. “We then spent all Monday night trying to persuade him to come to York but he and his partner are only 21 and feel they have a better support network in London.”

When asked how City could justify spending £80,000 on two Blue Square Premier players, while parents of youth-team scholars are being asked to raise £38,000 over the next two years to ensure the survival of the Under-18s side, McGill added: “The £80,000 would have come out of the playing budget, which has been put aside for the manager and transfer fees can be included in that.

“It’s all about managing a budget and the deal would have been staged in any case with half paid now and half in January so there would not have been an major impact immediately.”