Published: 08:20, 02 July 2019
| Updated: 09:47, 02 July 2019
Out-of-contract Maidstone winger Blair Turgott is considering a move to Swedish top-flight club Ostersunds.
Turgott was linked with the Allsvenskan outfit over the weekend and the 25-year-old has confirmed transfer talks in an interview with KentOnline.
It’s not a done deal - Turgott also has Football League moves on the table - but he wants to make a decision by the end of the week.
Ostersunds made headlines after beating Arsenal in a Europa League tie at the Emirates last year, a result that helped their English manager Graham Potter earn a move to Swansea.
Potter has since taken over at Premier League Brighton but the English connections at Ostersunds continue in his successor Ian Burchnall and technical director Dave Webb.
Turgott came to their attention during a prolific season that saw him score 18 goals in a Maidstone team who were relegated from the National League, despite missing three months with a knee injury.
He says a move to Sweden would be a massive step up and it’s clear the former West Ham and Coventry man is tempted.
Turgott said: “I spoke to Ostersunds. I went up there to meet the manager and it’s a really good club.
“When I look at the standard of football, some of the teams in that league would do really well in the Championship.
“There’s big clubs, teams like Malmo, who played against Chelsea in the Europa League last season.
“There’s avenues to move from there and sometimes as a footballer you’ve got to come out of your comfort zone.
“It’s probably something I wasn’t really expecting but when the option came about, I was like, ‘When I actually look at it, it would be a massive step up for me’ and it’s something I feel like I need.
“I need to make that push, I need to make that step up.”
It was Webb who first made contact with Turgott towards the end of last season - but he was focused on Maidstone.
He added: “They’ve got an English manager, an English technical director and an English assistant manager/coach.
“It’s a Swedish team but you look at the history and before that they had Graham Potter, who’s just got the Brighton job.
“So they’re obviously looking at English talent and it was the technical director, Dave Webb, who actually got in touch with me first when I was at Maidstone.
“I think he came to watch a few of the games and saw me do well.
“He tried to get in contact but like I said at the time, I was really focusing on finishing the season well at Maidstone.
“A lot of people got in touch but I wanted to have a break and recharge my batteries, and then I used the end of June to really think about my next move.
“I sat down with my family and my agent and just went through my best moves.
“There’s been better talks in the last week or so, so hopefully I’ll be able to find a club that’s right for me by the end of the week.
“Ostersunds are still in the picture. I have to add everything up and see what the best move is for me.
“There’s Ostersunds, there’s four or five teams I’ve sat down with, League 1 and League 2 clubs.
“It’s a big decision but it’s an exciting one as well.
“I showed what I’m about last season, I showed what I can do and it’s about going somewhere I can carry that on and improve even more and turn even more heads."
Turgott has played his last game for Maidstone but leaves the Gallagher with fond memories.
He said: “Everyone at the club’s been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough.
“It’s not that I need a new challenge, I just need a step up and at this stage in my career the next move is a massive one.
“When I came to Maidstone it felt like home.
“As a player, when you feel that comfort behind you, that sense of belonging and a manager that wants you, and fans that want you, I feel I need that to come out of my shell.
“It was a match made in heaven from everyone’s perspective - it was a great partnership.
“We were unlucky going down but I’ve got faith the new management are going to bring the team back to where it should be.
“You never know, hopefully I’ll come back one day.”
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More by this authorCraig Tucker