CHARLTON manager Chris Powell is refusing to read anything into newspaper speculation linking keeper Ben Hamer with a possible January move to Fulham.

A national paper yesterday suggested the Addicks stopper was attracting interest from Martin Jol’s side and fellow Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.

However, the suggestion was not greeted favourably by Powell, who suggested fans should take the story with a pinch of salt.

The Valley chief said: “It is going to be silly season now, as everyone knows.

“It has been a bit quiet for all the agents and now they are going to put their links in.

“I’m not surprised.

“People will be linked with good players from the Championship and I’ve got good players here but of course I won’t encourage it.

“I can’t stop people looking at our players.

“Ben has got a number of clean sheets recently and has performed well this season so whether there is any truth in it or not I don’t know.

“But I’d much prefer Ben to continue here and keep learning his trade.

“He is a young goalkeeper, has got a lot of games behind him, performed ever so well and he is developing all the time.

“I do like having him in the team but he is being pushed all the time by David Button, who is a good keeper who hasn’t had his chance yet. He surely will.

“But we are going to see a lot of speculation now, mark my words we really will because January is coming up and agents have to earn their money.”

When asked if Hamer was ready to perform in the top flight, Powell replied: “I don’t want to push him and his name, his performances will do the talking for him.

“He is a good keeper and one day he will play in the Premier League.

“I want it to be with us basically.

“But if people see a young English goalkeeper - there aren’t many of them about these days – I can’t stop anyone turning up and watching him in our games.

“He is a keeper we bought in last year we felt would learn his trade here and develop with us.

“We will have to wait and see what happens there but rest assured we are completely happy with Ben and completely happy with him staying here.

“But I think it will be the first of many links here, not only with him but with other players.”

With the window set to open soon, Powell was also pressed as to whether the Addicks were under any pressure to cash in on any of their prize assets.

“Speak to the owner and the board about that,” he said.

“Obviously if it is a ridiculous offer you are always going to consider it but if it is not to our liking we won’t do it. That is definitely going to be the case.

“But this is a part of it (football management) I don’t like because anyone can put stories in and then say to you ‘well what about that?’ and that is going to happen a lot now.

“I know it will because January is the time when Premier League sides, especially sides which are in the lower reaches, will have to look to bring one or two in to try and make sure they stay in that league because of the riches of the Premier League.

“There are going to be one or two of the bigger clubs that just want to add them (players) to the roster.

“I always say to those players it is great going there but if you are not playing you might as well stay and keep playing learning your trade, keep developing by getting the games under your belt.

“Then go when you know it is ready for you to go and actually make your mark at a Premier League side.

“I have visions and ambitions of moving this club to the top league whenever that happens.

“Of course you want it to happen sooner rather than later but it will happen when we are ready.

“We will know when we are ready and I want players like Ben Hamer and others to be here to make that happen.”

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