Grimsby Town have completed the signing of Gateshead midfielder Sam Jones for an undisclosed fee.
The deal went through at 10.30pm on Tuesday night, just half an hour before the January transfer window closed.
Jones only joined Gateshead in the summer, with the former Heanor Town and Retford United player stepping up to the top tier of non-league football from National League North club Alfreton Town.
The Heed beat off competition from a number of National League clubs, with Jones attracting interest from a number of clubs after scoring nineteen goals for the Reds last season.
The former Leeds United academy player has been one of the success stories of Gateshead’s season, scoring nine goals in the eighteen National League appearances for the Tynesiders.
That form led to interest from a number of Football League clubs, with Gateshead rejecting three bids from the Mariners.
In mid-January Heed boss Neil Aspin expressed his displeasure at the bids that the Mariners had put in for one of his star players saying “I don’t want to speak to them. They made a pathetic offer for him, while they want millions for their own players”.
A further bid was rejected by Gateshead, but the Mariners had success with their deadline day move after upping their offer for Jones once again.
The move will come as a blow to Aspin and the Heed, as they look to keep alive their slim play-off hopes in the National League.
However, it is understood that there are still working hard to replace Jones.
One name that was on the Heed’s radar was Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Deverdics.
Gateshead made an offer for the former Dover Athletic star, but Deverdics decided to stay at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium and fight for his place under new Pools boss Dave Jones.
After the move failed, Gateshead have turned their attentions to another midfielder and hope to have him in their squad in time for Saturday’s home game against Southport.
Aspin is also keen to add a loan striker to his squad and is understood to be in talks with a forward from outside of the North East.
Meanwhile Jones will train with his new Grimsby Town team mates for the first time on Thursday and could make his Mariners debut in their home game against Luton Town on Saturday.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Gateshead FC