Fleetwood Town confirm Paddy Madden link to Stockport and boss Simon Grayson says permanent deal is possible

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The Fleetwood Town boss added that the Irishman could ultimately join the non-league club on a permanent basis, not just on loan.

Madden, the club’s all-time record league goalscorer, has not started a Fleetwood game since scoring in the draw with Charlton Athletic on February 20. He has come off the bench in Town’s last four games, including Saturday’s goalless draw at Blackpool.

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Paddy Madden has been a substitute for Fleetwood’s last four games

Speaking after that game about the rumoured approach from National League Stockport, Grayson said: “They have asked the question and it would not just be a loan deal – it would probably be a loan to a permanent.

“They have asked the question as a football club and we will speak to Paddy about what he wants to do and we’ll see where we go after the weekend. But as it stands he has been out there today. He’s our player.

“Could that change? Possibly. Could we keep him? Possibly. But he’s our player for another 15 months.”

Madden, who turned 31 this month, has made 149 Fleetwood appearances since his move from Scunthorpe United in January 2018. He agreed a three-year deal in the summer of 2019.

He was named captain when Simon Wiles became interim boss in January and started Town’s first four games under Grayson last month, scoring in two of them.

His goal in the 3-1 win over Doncaster Rovers was his 42nd for Fleetwood in the league, setting a new club record. His equaliser in the 1-1 draw with against Charlton extended Madden’s total to 43 and to 53 in all competitions.

Madden then missed Fleetwood’s next two games when he was revealed to be one of three Town players struck down by coronavirus.

He has been unable to regain his place in the starting side since, with Fleetwood currently on a five-game unbeaten run.

Madden has scored nine in 36 games this season and Grayson added: “He’s been a very important player for this football club and is the leading goalscorer, so certainly we want to keep him but there are other aspects that could potentially lead to him leaving in terms of what Paddy wants to do.

“Does Paddy want to get maybe a contract longer term and secure his family for a little bit longer? Who knows?

“These permutations could all be part of the questions that could be asked over the weekend to a number of people.”

In Madden’s absence, Grayson gave a first League start to academy product Ged Garner, who was recalled fom a loan spell at non-league Gateshead over Christmas.

Garner has started Fleetwood’s last five games up front alongside Kyle Vassell, scoring his first league goal in the win at Lincoln City and earning plaudits from Grayson.

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