Chester trial Roberts

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Chester City have handed a trial to Crewe Alexandra defender Mark Roberts.

The 22-year-old recently spent time on loan with Nationwide Conference club Southport, but has opted to for a run-out with Keith Curle's side for the rest of the week.

With the January transfer window set to close next week, The Blues are keen to add more new faces to their squad for the rest of the campaign.

"He comes highly-recommended," Curle said. "(Crewe manager) Dario (Gradi) doesn't mess about and he's told me (Roberts) can play, he can head it, he's mobile and he's got a good understanding of the game.

"With Crewe not having a reserve team, he wasn't spotted until he was playing in non-league."

Curle's search for new faces prompted him to take an interest in former Chester defender Michael Rose.

However, the Yeovil Town player - currently on loan with League One rivals Scunthorpe United - has not keen on a return to The Saunders Honda Stadium.

Curle's decision to shuffle his pack has seen him hand Craig Dove, Abdelhalim El Kholti and Sean Hessey free transfers.

Defender Hessey has been struggling with a long-term knee problem, while Dove and El Kholti have failed to break into the Chester first team since the pair arrived at the club back in the summer.

"Sean has been given a free transfer or can go out on a long-term loan," Curle added.

"It's a head-start to further his career because he hasn't played a lot of football this season and he needs to be back playing.

"(El Kholti and Dove) have been given free transfers as well and there have been a few calls about them.

"They're good lads and it's not me forcing them out, they want to play football."