With Blackpool heading the queue of interested parties, it now looks a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ the full-back leaves the Reebok in the current transfer window.
Paul Ince has made an enquiry for the 30-year-old defender but sources close to the player claim he has other offers on the table.
Dougie Freedman has made it clear Mears does not feature in his first-team plans and revealed he had circulated his details among rival clubs last week.
But getting at least part of the former Burnley man’s salary off the wage bill could now be key to Freedman being able to bring in fresh signings before this weekend’s game at Reading.
The Wanderers boss does have at least one loan deal ready to go – but may have to wait for Mears to make his mind up about moving on before being able to complete the move.
Mears has had a rough ride with the Whites, breaking his leg before the start of his first full season and then struggling to get regular fitness under Owen Coyle.
He failed to impress Freedman in his brief spells in the team under the current Wanderers boss and has not featured at all since the 4-1 defeat against Blackburn Rovers in September last year. His contract expires in the summer and Mears may view the move as a chance to grab a deal beyond next season.
Blackpool’s need for new signings is acute but their stringent wage structure has already scuppered one loan move for Mears – and midfielder Keith Andrews – earlier in the season.
After only 12 fit players reported for training at the start of the week, Ince has been given the green light to bring in a couple of players but it appears the Seasiders are not willing to wait around.
Whether another former suitor, such as Millwall, have stepped forward again to take the ex-West Ham man on board is unclear but it is understood that the defender does have a choice of clubs to pick from should he choose to end his nightmarish two-and-a-half years with Wanderers.
Meanwhile, reports linking the Whites with a pair of wingers – Le Havre’s Jeremy Kor and Leicester City’s Lloyd Dyer have been dismissed by the club.