Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has suggested that the club will look to trigger one-year extensions on the contracts of Ryan Nyambe, Joe Rankin-Costello and Joe Rothwell to prevent them leaving on free transfers.
Rovers are facing a hugely important summer where they will need to make key decisions on as many as 11 players, who are all heading into the final few months of their current deals at the club. While there will also be a need to sort out the long-term future of forward Adam Armstrong who continues to be linked with a potential move away from Ewood Park.
The likes of Nyambe, Rankin-Costello and Rothwell have all been important players in the squad this term, with both Nyambe and Rothwell, in particular, having made 33 and 35 appearances in the Championship respectively this term. It is important that such players are kept around the club if they are to have a strong enough squad to challenge for promotion next term.
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Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mowbray suggested that Rovers do not have as many as 11 players out of contract in the summer because of the options they have to trigger one-year extensions. He also suggested that the club would look to trigger the majority of those options including the ones on the deals of Nyambe, Rankin-Costello and Rothwell.
He said: “There’s nowhere near 11 out of contract because there’s lots of players with year options that we’ll just kick in.
“My focus is to win some matches over the next four weeks and see what the summer brings.
“Generally, if a footballer has a year left, or his deal is coming to an end, we will pick up the year’s option to protect the value in that footballer.
“Then are they in the team? Are they doing well? What sort of new contract might you offer them? Are they happy with that? All these discussions go on, that’s what football is.
“When we give players contracts with a year’s option in them generally it’s to protect the football club and protect the value in the player.”
Extending the deals of Nyambe, Rankin-Costello and Rothwell seems like the most sensible thing that Blackburn could be doing at the moment, with Rovers not wanting to be in a position where they lose three important first-team players on a free transfer or low tribunal fee. That would leave them with a lot of rebuilding to do in the summer transfer window.
The trio all have plenty to offer at Ewood Park, and it they were under contract it would mean that if other clubs wanted to make a move for them they would have to pay a sizeable transfer fee. That shows it would be the right decision for them to trigger their extensions and keep them at the club and then look to potentially sort out long-term deals after.
Mowbray’s side are going to be facing a hectic summer and they might not have the time to be trying to replace the trio as well as do the other business they need to. That is why the club appear to be doing the right thing here by Mowbray’s latest update.