TYRONE Mears’ loan move to Blackpool was thrown into doubt last night despite Wanderers offering to fund the transfer.

Dougie Freedman said the club had volunteered to “heavily sponsor” the deal but that the final decision would be left to the full-back.

Mears is understood to have other options, and according to sources close to Blackpool, was distancing himself from a deal with Paul Ince’s Championship strugglers.

But with Wanderers looking to raise cash for incoming transfers this month, it appears they are putting pressure on the 30-year-old to make his choice.

“Tyrone Mears has the opportunity of going to Blackpool,” Freedman said. “We are going to heavily sponsor the deal so he can go and get some first-team action.

“I have left that decision with Tyrone, as I did when he was asked about Millwall.

“He said ‘no’ back then, but now it’s back over to him again.

“I think he needs some football because he hasn’t played regularly since I have been here. I know he broke his leg before that, so it’s been two years plus.

“He has been given the opportunity and the chairman has been very good because we’re very heavily sponsoring this. We will pay a large amount to let him go and play some football.”

Freedman played down the importance of Mears’ exit in his own transfer plans but accepts cuts still have to be made in the playing budget.

“That is always the tricky point,” he said. “People forget we’re in a business – that is all about balancing the books.

“We’ve come down from the Premiership and we’re still holding a bit too much money, if we’re honest.

“You have to be realistic and I have got to be very honest and open. I think I have been.

“If we are going to bring someone in, the books have to be balanced somewhere. It isn’t necessarily one in, one out. But there has to be a concession.”