Charlton Athletic going to need some luck to bring Jonny Williams back to The Valley

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

The chances of Jonny Williams returning to Charlton Athletic have been cast into major doubt.

Addicks manager Lee Bowyer reckons that the former Crystal Palace attacker will have far better financial offers made to him this summer.

Williams, 25, is a free agent at the end of June.

And the Wales international was a big hit with Charlton fans after signing for the South London club in January. He came off the bench at Wembley on Sunday to help the SE7 oufit win their League One play-off final against Sunderland.

Bowyer said: “We don’t think we will be able to afford him, that’s the truth of it.

“Because if he said: ‘Yeah, I’ll come on that budget, then we’d probably take him’ But there is going to be clubs out there who are going to offer him a lot more than we can offer him, so he has to weigh up his options.

“It might be a case where he has to look at things and it could be a bit like Lyle [Taylor, last summer] – someone is ready to pay him a bit more up north but he’d rather stay down south.

Charlton Athletic’s Jonathan Williams (centre) and Sunderland’s Bryan Oviedo (left) battle for the ball during the Sky Bet League One Play-off final at Wembley Stadium, London.

“His agent is going to keep us informed on what is going on – the door ain’t closed for him – but we probably need a bit of luck and hope no-one offers him too much!” Charlton have offered new deals to midfielder Joe Aribo and centre-back Patrick Bauer.

But Aribo seems set to bypass the Championship next season – either jumping to the Premier League or a switch outside England.

Glasgow Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End are all interested in Bauer, who scored the winning goal at the national stadium.

Jake Forster-Caskey has also been offered a new deal. Tariqe Fosu is in the same situation – although that is more to ensure that Charlton get some kind of compensation for the winger, who is still expected to move on.

Charlton Athletic’s Tariqe Fosu (left) brings the ball into the Bradford area

Igor Vetokele, Ben Reeves and Josh Parker will all be moving on.

“This is a big opportunity for Jake to play in the Championship – which I think he’ll be able to handle,” said Bowyer. “He’s a good player, he’ll be fine.

“I’ve told him to come back flying and it is a new season for him.

“With Igor it is the injuries [that have caused his release] – because we are going to be limited with the budget.

“We can’t really take risks and bring in too many players, so we have to be careful who we are going to bring in. Igor has just been injured a lot.”

Parker was only brought in on a shortterm deal from Gillingham in January following the sale of Karlan Grant to Huddersfield.

“He has done himself no harm, for sure, in getting a good club,” said Bowyer.

“We were lucky we had him because if we didn’t bring him in then we never would have been able to keep playing the formation we wanted to – we only had one fit striker when Igor was out.”


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