Cobblers Pull Out Of Big Phil Deal

Last updated : 31 January 2003 By Rob Cooper
Phil Whitehead
Want-away Whitehead
A proposed loan move to Northampton for 33-year-old Phil Whitehead has been held up because of an injury to the players knee.

It had been hoped that Whitehead, who has not featured in the first team since August, would this week complete a loan move to the Second Division Cobblers with a view to a permanent deal.

Whitehead is widely understood to be surplus to requirements at the Madejski Stadium and has been seeking a new club for a period of time now. However, a knee operation has not helped him in his quest. Indeed, a complication with the injured knee has prevented a deal from being pushed through.

Speaking to, Whitehead, who was last season the club's first choice 'keeper, explained: "I was supposed to be going to Northampton on Thursday but I rung them up and told them I wasn't coming as my knee wasn't feeling right.

"I've had the knee problem for a while now, but I was getting nearer to full fitness and recently played two reserve games against Chelsea and West Ham.

"I basically came back too early from my knee operation and I won't be doing that again."

Whitehead will continue to train with the Royals but hopes to get a move sorted once he has regained full fitness. Should a move not happen now then the Halifax born shotstopper will likely leave the club for free in the Summer as his contract is up.

He added: "I need a fresh start to get my career up and running again. So I still hope to complete the loan move, with a view to a permanent move away from Reading."