Grecians close in on Richards

Exeter look set to complete the signing of Bristol Rovers striker Eliot Richards on a permanent deal.

The Grecians borrowed the Welshman in February with Alan Gow going the other way and the 22-year-old scored five times to help keep Exeter in League Two.

And on Tuesday the Pirates revealed that City contacted them last week to exercise their option in the loan deal to sign Richards at the end of the season.

The details of the two clubs' contact was revealed by Rovers' official Twitter account after Richards took to the social network to express his dismay at finding out via the club's official website that he was being released following relegation to the Conference.

He tweeted: "After being at Bristol Rovers since I was 16. Had some very good times and finding out on the internet I've been released without a word..."

"Thought they would give me a little bit of respect. Hope they do well in the future the fans deserve better."

And Rovers were quick to explain the situation and manager Darrell Clarke's response.

"We received a letter from Exeter a week ago exercising their option to take Eliot Richards at the end of the season," they tweeted.

"Therefore we were under the impression that the player was aware he had been released.

"Darrell has now spoken to Eliot, and we would like to apologise for any misunderstanding that has occurred."

Scottish playmaker Gow meanwhile, who played just four times for Rovers before suffering an ankle injury, is out of contract at St James Park and has been offered the chance to train with the Gas and prove his fitness ahead of the new Conference season.