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Walsall will not be held to ransom over Danny Johnson deal

Michael Flynn has warned Walsall “won’t be held over a barrel” in their efforts to keep top scorer Danny Johnson.

Danny Johnson scores
Danny Johnson scores

The 29-year-old’s loan expires next month and Flynn insists the Saddlers are doing everything they can to extend his stay for at least the rest of the season.

But it is parent club Mansfield who hold all the cards and the Walsall boss has drawn up a list of alternative targets should a deal not be reached with their League Two rivals.

Johnson was poised to join the Saddlers permanently last summer before a late change of heart from the Stags saw the deal changed to a six-month loan.

The former Leyton Orient ace has gone on to score 13 goals for Flynn’s team, who sit just three points behind seventh-placed Mansfield in the table. Talks between the clubs are ongoing and Flynn ideally wants to know where things stand before the window opens on January 1.

He said: “We are working hard to get answers. I would love to know. We want to plan as well because if it is a no and there is no way the deal can be done, I have another list with strikers on.

“Danny enjoys it here. He is scoring and has bought into the club and philosophy. He gets on with his team-mates.

“It is one of those where it is out of our hands. But we have to make sure we do what is right by the club and if that means not being held over a barrel, that is what it means.”

Flynn is eager to further strengthen his squad next month with cover in the wing-back positions thought to be among his priorities.

The boss believes his team, who are on an eight-match unbeaten run, are starting to show their potential after a huge summer overhaul saw the arrival of 18 new players.

“We have to keep improving in areas where I need to but it is not the same as we had to do in the summer,” he said.

“We did it for the right reasons, to bulk the squad up in line with the budget.

“The summer was tough. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. But even when I was on holiday with the family I was having to lock myself in a room.

“We also had the takeover going through. It was non-stop. Constant speaking to agents and players. It was a busy time but enjoyable.”

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