SAM Baldock is set to become a Peterborough United player after MK Dons accepted a bid in excess of £1.2 million on Wednesday.
After a summer-long chase, Dons chairman Pete Winkelman ‘reluctantly accepted’ the bid from Posh for last season’s top scorer.
Dons did, however, turn down a second bid for midfielder Stephen Gleeson, thought to be around £600,000.
A club spokesman said: “Dons can confirm we have received bids with improved terms from Peterborough for both Stephen Gleeson and Sam Baldock.
“Whilst we have rejected any proposal for Stephen, a club record bid for Sam, which now matches our valuation, has been reluctantly accepted and Peterborough have accordingly been given permission to speak to Sam about a potential transfer to London Road.”
On Tuesday, boss Karl Robinson admitted he felt Peterborough – who broke Dons’ hearts by knocking them out of the play-offs last season – were going to up their bids for his two stars, and said that everyone has their price. And he seemed resigned to losing one of the two.
“You don’t know what’s around the corner,” he said. “I presume there will be other offers from Peterborough and other clubs. We have to fight hard to keep hold of these players, but £1.6 million is a lot of money. It’s phenomenal and you can’t always say no.
“We’ll wait and see, but I’m confident that we will keep at least one, possibly two. There have been offers for others, and it shows how well we did last season.
“When you cut the budget so much, your players attract attention, they move on, and it’s hard to replace them with the restraints you have in place.
“People need to realise that the players who start this season are the ones who want to be here. The people who aren’t here, didn’t want to be here and they had other motives behind playing for this club.”
The chase for Baldock began in early June when Peterborough director of football Barry Fry announced that he had made a bid for the 22-year-old, but it was knocked back by Dons.
Fry continued to openly discuss the bid in the media, while Dons tried to play down the speculation. Posh then tabled a further offer two weeks later, which included a £500,000 bid for Gleeson, upping the total transfer value to £1.6 million, although Dons once again said no to what Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony declared was a ‘final offer’.
Peterborough’s accepted bid is believed to be in the region of £1.2 million for Baldock who hit the net 14 times in League 1 last season.
Posh manager Darren Ferguson cut short his holiday to travel back to London Road to complete the deal on Wednesday afternoon.
And while the clubs see each other as local rivals, the draw of Championship football next season could persuade the striker to agree terms with the Cambridgeshire side.
In fact Baldock probably won’t be the only Dons player to head for the exit, with Peter Leven’s contract set to expire at midnight, making him a free agent and free to talk to other clubs.
Dons offered him a two-year deal to remain at stadium:mk on May 20, but the 27-year-old has failed to put pen to paper.