Crawley Town target
James Tilley during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Bolton Wanderers and Grimsby Town at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, England on 10 October 2020. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xLeexBleasex PMI-3647-0027

Crawley Town are set to sign forward James Tilley to replace Cardiff City-bound Max Watters, Football Insider can reveal.

The League Two club are in advanced talks to sign Tilley, 22, after his Grimsby Town contract was terminated this week.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Crawley Town have swooped for Tilley as they give the green light for Watters to leave.

As revealed by this site on Friday morning, Cardiff are closing in on the capture of Watters for around £1million.

Watters has led Town’s play-off charge this season and has found the net 16 times in just 18 games across all competitions.

Manager John Yems is keen to replace his goals despite the club comfortably beating Leeds United 3-0 in the FA Cup third-round last weekend with Watters reduced to an 18-minute cameo.

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Tilley featured regularly for Grimsby under the previous manager Ian Holloway but fell out-of-favour under new boss Paul Hurst.

The forward was substituted at half-time in Hurst’s first game back in charge of the Mariners before being left out of the matchday squad for the trip to Port Vale last weekend.

Crawley Town target

He joined Grimsby on a one-and-a-half-year deal last January and left the club with two goals in 25 appearances across all competitions.

The Englishman moved to Blundell Park from Brighton & Hove Albion where he enjoyed loan spells with Cork City and Yeovil Town.

In other news, Football Insider can reveal Crawley Town’s League Two rivals Salford City are in advanced talks to sign a Leeds midfielder on loan.