TRANSFER rumours have been rife amongst Bury fans this week following manager David Flitcroft's announcement the club must sell players as he bids to reshape his squad.

Tom Pope's name was trending with Shakers supporters on social media, with whispers of a potential move back to former club Port Vale.

However, the striker told local press he was "mystified" by the noises coming from the Gigg Lane faithful.

Flitcroft announced funds had to be released in order to "re-balance" the squad, and that he anticipated having to sell some of his prized assets.

Captain Nathan Cameron, in-form full-back Chris Hussey and flying winger Danny Mayor have been the stand-out players during Bury's impressive start to their League One return.

Flexible midfielder Tom Soares and former Bolton Wanderers right-back Joe Riley have also put in a string of impressive performances, but they have both struggled with injuries in the last few weeks.

And top scorer Leon Clarke, who has fired in 13 goals in 24 appearances since signing on a free transfer last summer, has already proved he can perform at a higher level.

“We have had quite a few enquiries,” said Flitcroft. “People have been feeling us out about our players and I expect that. Some of them have had a fantastic season and they have been progressing now for two years.

“The players have gone to a different level and sometimes you can't stop players from moving on, it is part of football.

“You can only have a certain squad size. I'm a realist I understand that.

“We are going to have to work on getting a few players shipped out to get some recovery on wages, which again is a milestone for this football club.

“When I first took over we struggled to give players away and we had to pay some players' contracts up, but now I have got a group of players and they are a wanted bunch, people want them whether that's as a transfer target or to help them in their quest to be successful.

“We always sign a player and have an exit strategy for that player whether they leave on our terms or on their terms if a club comes in for them. It's a business and that's what we're trying to run."

Flitcroft met with chairman Stewart Day and his fellow directors last week to plan out their strategy for the transfer window.

Following the meeting, Bury signed Manchester City goalkeeper Ian Lawlor on loan until the end of the season and brought Ryan Lowe back into the fold following his successful loan spell at Crewe, while utility player Reece Brown signed a contract extension up to the end of the campaign.

But teenage striker Anthony Dudley was sent out for a second loan spell at National League club Guiseley, while former youth team front man Brayden Shaw was released.

And as Bury prepare to play four games in a two-week period, the manager insists the packed fixtures list is something his players thrive on.

“Players like that (games). We like that. The turnaround is good,” he said. “We have got a fantastic training venue where we can spin games around and put great recovery strategies in place.

“We have got to make sure we get the players ready and in tune for the up coming games, but that's part of a manager and that's part of a footballer's job to make sure he's fit and ready for Saturday and Tuesday fixtures.”