EASTLEIGH have had an offer rejected for Havant & Waterlooville skipper and central defender Tom Jordan, writes WENDY GEE.
Director of football David Malone confirmed the Spitfires had made "quite a substantial offer" to their Blue Square South rivals, but it was turned down by his opposite number Derek Pope at Westleigh Park.
Given that Eastleigh have already wooed away the Hawks' manager Ian Baird this season, Malone was not surprised by the Hawks' response.
"If I was in their position I would probably have done the same," he admitted. "For one thing Tom is a decent player and, for another, I doubt they would want to do anything to help Eastleigh.
"Popey's actual response to me was that Tom Jordan is not for sale, but they'd consider a straight swop for Andy Forbes and Luke Byles!"
Bristol-based Jordan, a commanding 6ft 5in centre-back, joined Havant at the start of 2004/5 and was made club captain the following season. He has made 165 appearances for the Hawks.
The son of former Saints frontman and current Pompey coach, Joe, he started his career with Bristol City's youth side before moving to Southend United, Tamworth and Forest Green Rovers. He has also played semi-professionally for England.
Shaun Gale, who succeeded Baird at the Havant & Waterlooville helm, said: "As far as I am aware, Tom is going nowhere. Why would I want to sell a player who has been magnificent for us?"
That, however, is unlikely to deter Eastleigh, who have recently lost the services of Rob Marshall, due to work commitments, and have fellow defenders Karim El Salahi, Chris Collins and Andy Harris struggling with injury.
They have brought in Warren Goodhind for a month from Ebbsfleet United, but he twisted his ankle on his debut.
"We're looking to bring in a couple of quality players," said Malone. "Havant have rejected our first bid for Tom Jordan and I think it might be a long-term struggle now."
Jordan is suspended this Saturday when Hawks travel to Notts County in the FA Cup second round. He misses the biggest game in the club's history after picking up a fifth yellow card.