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Free agent Calvin Zola is in Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett’s thoughts

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 19, 2014

Burton Albion .v. Oxford United....Gary Rowett / Calvin Zola

Burton Albion .v. Oxford United....Gary Rowett / Calvin Zola

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BURTON Albion are keeping tabs on Calvin Zola – but manager Gary Rowett will decide whether his former striker is the sort of target they want to pursue before making an official approach.

Zola is a free agent, having had his contract terminated by Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen, the club he joined after leaving the Brewers.

Rowett admitted he had been in contact with the 29-year-old’s agent, but said: “I’m not making 20 phone calls a day to try and get him in.

“I’ve got to weigh up the signings we’ve already made and how we want to play next season.

“It’s never an easy decision.”

With Michael Symes and Gary Alexander having exited the club, Burton are left with Billy Kee, Adam McGurk and Dominic Knowles, as well as new signing Lucas Akins, who can play up front or on the wing.

Rowett has admitted they are still in the market for another forward, but said: “We’ve got a certain type of striker in mind, and we have to decide if Calvin would fit that mould.

“I’m sure if we were interested, Calvin would consider us, but he’s a free agent, so there’ll be lots of clubs making enquiries.”

Accepting that Burton would face stiff competition for a player who scored more than 30 goals in two-and-a-half years at the Pirelli, Rowett said he had tried to bring the former Newcastle United trainee in last season.

“It’s something I’ve been aware of since before Christmas, that it hadn’t worked out for Calvin up there,” he said.

“At that point I made one or two enquiries about bringing him back on loan, but it didn’t work out.

“Now he’s available as a free agent, there’ll be lots of clubs on the alert.”

Zola made just 11 starts in the SPL last season, scoring three goals.

“I’m surprised he didn’t have more impact up there, having moved his family up as well,” said Rowett.

“Great credit to him for doing that – it shows he wasn’t just going there for the money, he really wanted to make it work.

“But in Scotland, unless you take the league by storm, you have to wonder if you’d have been better staying in England.”

Zola had struggled to hold down a regular place in the Aberdeen team and his departure comes as manager Derek McInnes pursues out-of-contract striker Kris Boyd.

“Everyone involved wishes Calvin and his family all the very best in his future career,” McInnes told the Aberdeen website .

“Calvin is a good guy and was a popular figure in the dressing room and around the club in general.”

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