A number of Stoke City supporters have been reacting to the latest comments made by manager Michael O’Neill suggesting that the Potters are going to struggle to offer Nick Powell a new contract until other high earners leave the club.
Powell has been one of the Potters’ most influential performers in the Championship this season. The 27-year-old has weighed in with 12 goals and three assists for Stoke during his 36 league appearances, which makes him the club’s current top scorer three goals ahead of forward Steven Fletcher.
The attacking midfielder was the subject of transfer interest during the January window as a result of his impressive form, with the Premier League Newcastle United reportedly having made enquiries into the possibility of taking him from the Bet365 Stadium.
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O’Neill has recently insisted that Powell is happy at Stoke and enjoying his football with them at the moment. However, offering the latest update over the attacking midfielder’s situation, he revealed that the Potters might struggle to financially structure a new deal for him unless they can remove one or two of the out of favour high earners off the wage bill.
He said: “It’s very difficult for us to do that at this minute in time because of the rules of FFP. We have players that are on contracts that are on contracts that are quite different to the players who have signed since I came to the club.
“We have to be mindful in terms of that and setting the bar for wages that we’re prepared to pay and able to pay. At this minute in time we’re not in a position to be able to extend contracts.
“We’ll look at the situation in the summer. Nick has a year to go and he obviously has had a very strong season. Those are the types of player you want to keep at the club.
“At the moment, as we are readjusting financially how we are as a club, it’s more difficult to have those conversations.”
Many Stoke fans were left frustrated by this update and there were some suggesting that the club should try and do all they can to keep hold of Powell. While others were questioning how this situation has been allowed to happen.
Here, we take a look at some of the best reactions on social media…
— Proudy (@RProud89) April 10, 2021
Very interesting and begs the question that if we get a decent offer for him do we cash in on him? If we get 5 mill for him is it worth doing and reinvesting instead of selling one of the youngsters 🤷🏼♂️ https://t.co/4Sw5NxPeOM
— Danny (@dcooke1989) April 10, 2021
Nope mate I don’t think so. I think he’s our most important player upfront barring Campbell
— Louis🔴⚪️ (@LouisEccleston7) April 10, 2021
His predecessors didn't negotiate and agree the contracts, Scholes did. Yet HE'S still here 🤔 https://t.co/Ou7nj0KRbv
— northstokie (@northstokie) April 10, 2021
Didn't we give deals to other players this season, surely Powell should've been the biggest priority… Especially because he's not 50 😂
— Rob in Tunstall (@Rob_in_Tunstall) April 10, 2021
Sign of the times. We really do need to keep Powell and extend Thompson contract as well. The rest due in 22 can all go now or then maybe Davies excepted.
— johnsharrock7 (@johnsharrock71) April 10, 2021
Deep joy. Relegation was followed by two managers signing a lot of players on hugely inflated fees and massive Championship wages and who are mostly slower than a milk float in a headwind. Smashing.
— Jamo (@ricohjam) April 10, 2021