Port Vale boss Rob Page says the decision to release goalkeeper Chris Neal was based on “business”.
Neal, 30, who joined Vale in June 2012 is regarded by many fans as the club’s best keeper in recent years. But the arrival of the equally impressive Jak Alnwick, 22, from Newcastle saw Neal lose his first-team place and loaned out to Doncaster and Bury.
He’s a good player but unfortunately he got the injury last year and we wanted to bring a new keeper in – that’s football…
“It’s not a surprise, because he’s been out playing games since January,” Page told BBC Radio Stoke.
“He’s a good player but unfortunately he got the injury last year and we wanted to bring a new keeper in – that’s football.
“Jak’s grabbed the opportunity with both hands – he’s had an exceptional season, he’s younger and we think there’s potential there.
“That’s the business side of football, you can’t afford to let the emotions get involved, you have to think of the club.
“I didn’t want to keep Chris hanging around and, come the end of the season, he was out of contract and not had the chance to go out and impress at another club. And he thanked me for the way it was handled.”