Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson has suggested that the Robins are currently discussing the potential futures of a group of players who are set to be out of contract in the summer.
The Robins could be set for a vital summer with them needing to secure the long-term future of Pearson, who is only on a short-term deal until the end of the campaign at this stage. While there are also as many as six players out of contract whose futures will also need to be addressed before the club can work out where they need to strengthen.
The out of contract players in the summer include the likes of Jack Hunt, Famara Diedhiou, Jamie Paterson, Liam Walsh, Andi Weimann and Marley Watkins. Amongst those it would be unlikely that Watkins, in particular, will still be at the club next term having been loaned out to Aberdeen and Diedhiou was linked with a potential move away from the club in January.
Speaking to Bristol Live, Pearson revealed that the club are having discussions over the potential long-term futures of the players who are out of contract and that he is aware of their current situations at the moment.
He said: “Yes, I’m aware of that. I wouldn’t go into a situation with my eyes closed. I’m aware of where we are with the playing squad and they are all items for us to discuss and in fact we are doing as well.
It is vital that Bristol City swiftly resolve the contract issues with the players who are set to be available to leave on a free in the summer. That will enable them to plan what positions they will need to add to in the transfer market. Diedhiou looks likely to leave with the forward having been offered a deal that he has not yet signed, so they will need to try and replace his presence.
While Watkins will also likely leave with him having been out of favour at Ashton Gate and not having made much of an impact during his time with the Robins. The likes of Hunt, Paterson and Weimann have been important players in recent years and they would you feel be worth keeping for Bristol City if they can extend their deals.
Walsh is an interesting one because he enjoyed an excellent campaign with Coventry City last term, but he has endured an injury-hit season. It will be a major decision over all of the players and Pearson’s role in the discussions will be interesting and might give some form of indication over his long-term future with the club.