PETE Winkelman and Barry Fry are set to thrash out a deal which would see Sam Baldock move from Dons to Peterborough United this summer.
The pair are to meet in Cyprus at the Football League Chairman’s Conference on Tuesday, and will have a sit-down talk to discuss the possible transfer of the striker.
Dons’ top scorer Baldock was the subject of an ambitious bid from Posh on Thursday as they look to replace their own leading goal scorer, Craig Mackail-Smith, who looks set for a £3 million move to the Premier League.
Barry Fry, director of football at London Road, confirmed that talks had opened between the clubs over the potential transfer of Baldock.
The bid, believed to be £600,000 plus add-ons, was turned down by Dons’ chairman Winkelman.
However, rather than putting the rumours surrounding the 22-year-old’s future to bed, the club released a statement saying that the ‘terms were not acceptable’ – hinting that an improved bid may be accepted in the near future. And Winkelman declined an offer to speak about the ongoing speculation on Monday.
Baldock scored 13 goals for Dons last season, including a memorable free-kick against Peterborough in the first leg of the play-offs.
However, Dons haven’t been able to spend any money on players for nearly two years – since the transfer of Jermaine Easter from Plymouth in 2009 – and a sizable cash-up-front deal could persuade Winkelman to part company with the striker, who has become a favourite with the club’s fans since coming through Dons’ academy.
And Fry is confident that a deal can be reached between the two clubs, even though his first offer was turned away.
He said: “Everybody’s got their price so they say, but at the minute it isn’t a done deal.
“I think it’s a good deal because he’s full of potential and if his potential’s fulfilled with us then MK will get a lot of money, but they want the money up front and he isn’t the finished article in my opinion.
“Obviously they’ve got their own ambitions and want to do what we did this year and that’s go up next year.”
Baldock was the first player to come through the academy since the move to Milton Keynes in 2004, and is a firm fans’ favourite, with many flooding social media site Twitter with messages urging the youngster to stay at stadium:mk.
Since making his first team debut in December 2005, he has made 117 appearances for Dons, scoring 37 goals – putting him third in the club’s all-time scorers list.
Should Baldock leave the club, it would leave boss Karl Robinson in a difficult situation, having sold three strikers in just six months, with Easter and Aaron Wilbraham having moved on during last season.
One name which has been linked to Dons though is Accrington Stanley striker Terry Gornell.
The 21-year-old forward started his career at Tranmere Rovers before being loaned out to Accrington in 2010, making his move permanent later that year.
Gornell scored 13 times for Stanley last season as they made the League Two play-offs where they lost to eventual winners Stevenage.