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Rivals’ financial clout making it tough for Walsall boss Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn says Walsall’s hunt for a striker is proving tough as they cannot get ‘anywhere near’ some of their League Two rivals’ financial offers.

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The Saddlers have been boosted by the Trivela Group’s takeover of the club this summer.

Flynn, though, insists the playing budget is still not among the highest in the division, while he has been taken aback by the high level of spending elsewhere.

“We’re saying it’s a competitive budget, but I’ll tell you, it’s still not in the top seven,” said Flynn.

“It won’t be in the top seven, maybe top-10 budgets. It won’t be a top-10 budget, I know that.

“Yes, it’s a competitive budget for Walsall and the league, because money doesn’t guarantee you success. It gives us a chance of getting one or two.

"Finding a striker is hard. I’ve been talking to different managers throughout the leagues.

“I’ve spoken to someone from every division and believe me, it’s not just our league. If you’re not one of the big boys, it’s really tough.

“There’s a few of them spending a lot in our division, so we’ll see.”

Walsall have managed to snap up experienced frontman Andy Williams and promising Stoke City loanee Douglas James-Taylor, but Flynn wants one or two more.

He added on the striker search: “You’ve got the likes of Stockport in our league. I can’t get anywhere near.

"I couldn’t get anywhere near, and that’s just an example. I’m not singling out Stockport, it’s just an example.

“They’ve got ambition and that’s commendable. They want to bring in players they think can get them promoted, and they cost a lot of money. It’s as simple as that.

“It is what it is. We’ll give it our best shot. We just ask everybody believes in us and sticks with us.

“You never know, we might get those marquee signings.

“Ben (Boycott, co-chairman), Matt Jordan (football advisor) and Leigh (Pomlett, co-chairman) have all been very supportive. I’m going to have to bend their ear a little bit.

“We’ll have to take an educated gamble, because of our injuries, and let’s hope we get the right fit in.”

Walsall, while focused on landing a centre-forward, are now preparing for their first official game of pre-season, against Villa at Bescot tomorrow (1pm).

Flynn said on facing Steven Gerrard’s men: “It’s something I’m really looking forward to.

“Not just because it’s Villa, but we’ll have the crowd back and, hopefully, I’ll get 10 minutes with Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister because they’re two legends in my eyes.

“It’s fantastic, and Villa deserve a lot of credit for supporting a local club around them.

“It’s not easy in League Two, so it’ll be a nice boost for the coffers.

“It’s good. If I was a manager in the Premier League, I’d always want to go to a local club and try to get them some extra revenue.

“Villa deserve a big thank you. They’ll get it from myself, but I think they deserve it from the whole Walsall community.”