Lee Bowyer admits that Lyle Taylor has played his final game for Charlton Athletic with the reported Rangers, Crystal Palace and Burnley target out of contract at the end of this month, speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT (1 June, 10.50am).
While most of us may be rejoicing the return of football, those much-discussed ‘Project Re-start’ plans have handed one Championship club a headache that they would prefer to have avoided.
At the age of 30, late-blooming striker Taylor looks set to make what Bowyer himself describes as a ‘life-changing move’ in the summer transfer window. Premier League trio Palace, Burnley and Bournemouth are interested, as are a Rangers side who will be playing European football again next season (TEAMtalk).
Now, Taylor is set to become a free agent in a matter of weeks. And, with the 11-goal striker terrified of suffering an untimely injury which could scupper his hopes of a move to a top-flight outfit, Charlton are facing up to the prospect of battling relegation without their talismanic top scorer.
“It’s a difficult one for us. We have 15 players out of contract, they finish at the end of June. Three of those players have said they’re not going to play (when football resumes) Lyle is one of them. That’s tough for us. That’s tough for me as the manager,” says a clearly dejected Bowyer.
“Lyle is a good player for us. Like Troy Deeney at Watford, when he plays, we win games. And Lyle said that he’s not going to play because of risk of injury.
“He’s in such a difficult position. He wants to play (for us) but he’s so worried abut getting injured.
“He’s going to get a life-changing move. If it wasn’t for Lyle we wouldn’t even be in this division. He was outstanding last year.”
Interestingly, Jim White claims that Taylor will quadruple his wages when he joins his new club on a free, though it remains to be seen who will win the race for a man who is playing the best football of his career in his late-20s and early-30s.
Taylor fired Charlton to promotion with 25 goals last season before hitting 11 in 22 games during his debut Championship campaign.