GARY JOHNSON says he would warmly welcome Chris Dunn back to the Cobblers fold if the goalkeeper’s summer transfer does not pan out.
Dunn is currently mulling over a fresh contract at Sixfields with at least one club in the npower Championship – understood to be Coventry City – believed to be interested in signing the 24-year-old.
Under the Bosman ruling, Town would receive a tribunal-set fee for the man who came through their youth system to play more than 100 games for the club, because the deal they have offered to him is not less than the one which he is currently on.
If Dunn does leave it would mean Johnson would need to sign another keeper, with rookie Paul Walker the only other stopper on the books.
But if he does decide to stay, the manager will welcome him back into his squad.
“If a Championship-level club comes in for someone and they’re out of contract then you have to wish them well,” he said.
“He never let me down, Dunny, so if he does stay then I will be happy to have him here as my first-choice goalkeeper.
“I know he has made mistakes but he’s only 24 and all players of that age make mistakes, you notice them more of course when it’s the goalkeeper.
“Tim Flowers (Northampton goalkeeping coach) has been very impressed with him and feels he can improve, and I was very pleased with the way he played in the last couple of games after getting a nasty injury.”
Bringing players into the club has been the priority for Johnson so far this summer, although Dunn may yet leave and midfielder Ryan Gilligan remains on the transfer list.
It has been confirmed that there has been no interest as yet in securing the services of Gilligan, although the manager feels that is pretty much par for the course given the time of year.
“We haven’t heard any news but it might just be that clubs are holding back until later in the summer so they don’t have to pay the wages until they actually get the player,” said Johnson, who also confirmed he has had no interest in any other members of his squad.