Alex close in on signing of Ellis
TORQUAY United and Crewe Alexandra are close to finalising an £80,000 deal for Gulls defender Mark Ellis.
United turned down promoted Crewe's first offer, but the return from holiday of Alex manager Steve Davis has injected fresh impetus into the negotiations.
"We are in advanced talks, not far away in terms of a transfer fee, and hopefully it will develop over the next day or two. Something will get sorted," said Davis.
Kingsbridge-born Ellis, 23, has stressed his only interest in leaving Plainmoor, where he has been for nearly five years, is to play at a higher level.
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"I would be quite happy to re-sign at Torquay and give it 110 per cent next season if a move didn't happen, but I would like to play League One football if I can, and see how I progress," he said.
Ellis started his career as a teenager at Exeter City before moving to Bolton Wanderers' youth academy.
He has made 136 appearances for The Gulls, scoring 12 goals in the process, since joining initially on loan in 2007.
Meanwhile Torquay manager Martin Ling has told winger Lloyd Macklin he is running the risk of wasting his talent if he does not knuckle down.
The midfielder is on the transfer list at Plainmoor but Ling has not had any inquiries for him this summer.
Ling said: "He needs to pull his finger out and get on with his career.
"I've not had one phone call about Lloyd, which should tell him what he needs to do.
"People have been talking about massive potential with Lloyd for five years.
"The problem is with Lloyd and not the people working with him."
York City have signed former Oxford United striker Oli Johnson on a one-year deal.
The 24-year-old was released by the U's at the end of last season and has become the Minstermen's second signing since returning to the Football League.
Johnson joined Norwich from Stockport in January 2010.
The Canaries released him this January and he moved to Oxford on a short-term deal, but three goals in 17 games failed to earn him a new contract.
Defender Guy Branston has signed a one-year contract with Aldershot Town after his deal at Bradford City was terminated by mutual consent.
The 33-year-old made 19 appearances for the Bantams last season and played four games during a loan spell at Rotherham United.