Vale consider legal options

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Port Vale chairman Dave Smith has consulted the club's legal team as a Championship side are alleged to have made an illegal approach for two of his players.

It is understood that the as yet unnamed side made approaches to 21-year-old striker Billy Paynter (pictured) and former Bury defender Sam Collins.

"We believe an illegal approach has been made by agents to two of our senior players in a bid to persuade them to leave the club," read an official club statement.

"We have taken advice at the highest level from football authorities to discuss the matter with the players concerned.

"We are now considering making an official complaint in the strongest terms to The Football Association. This type of illegal behaviour unsettles players and disrupts preparations for games.

"The manager is under no pressure to sell and will only do so if it's in the interests of the club. We want to hold on to our best players and strengthen the squad in a bid to get promoted this season."

Manager Martin Foyle added: "We have spoken to the players and they are fully aware of the situation. It has caused a bit of unrest at the club, largely due to the agents totally misinforming our players and not giving them the right details.

"Billy and Sam are totally committed to the club, but we understand their ambition to play at a higher level.

"Unless the club receives an offer which shows the true reflection of their ability, as far as I am concerned, the matter is closed."