Date:Tuesday February 10 2009
Colchester`s Jimmy Walker, loaned from West Ham, will start in goal for tonight`s Tranmere game.
This is despite the prolonged confusion over the 35-year-old`s contract negations and the expiry of his old deal last weekend.
Vital Football had previously reported the fiasco, which U`s boss Paul Lambert said made him, "an angry man." To read the report, click here.
Now, United`s owner Robbie Cowling had joined the calls for Walker to sign full-time. He explained last night to the local media that the player has indeed immediately signed an extended contract once more.
"We are still in communication with the Football League at the moment, with regards Jimmy Walker," said Mr. Cowling in today's East Anglian Daily Times.
United say they had previously submitted a request to keep the stopper for longer than three consecutive months, having agreed a move in principle with the Hammers. But the League are rejecting that claim, hence the mix-up over Walker`s future.
"Negotiations at the time were difficult and we did not receive the paperwork back from Jimmy Walker until ten-to-five, giving us just 10 minutes before the transfer deadline," he explained.
Cowling has said he believes the club met the deadline, which should have afforded them to another 24 to 48 hours to tie the agreement, under special dispensation granted to all English teams by FIFA because of the recent difficult weather conditions.
"We had initially explored all avenues with regards Jimmy, and in the end we decided to sign him on a standard loan until the end of the season."
It means that Walker can continue his impressive form as Colchester mount an impressive League One promotion-push.
Cowling added: "As a fall-back, we have signed him for the third month to take him up to the 93 days. The situation has been confusing, but we are still hopeful that we have signed him until the end of the season."
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