Six City Players Who Could Be Out of Contract: Who Could Be Retained?

Credit Graham Burrell

There seems to be a bit of discussion around out-of-contract players at the moment, based on some comments Michael Skubala made about discussions going on behind the scenes.

There’s lots of speculation about who is and who isn’t out of contract at present, and whilst there are no definitive answers, I believe it isn’t quite as cut and dried as some are making out. Something I’ve seen a lot of in recent years is the ‘year’s option’ on a player – it was why we didn’t end up with Matty Virtue in the summer, as his contract at Blackpool ended and they took up his option.

Credit Graham Burrell

Undisclosed ‘long-term’ deals don’t help, and while websites such as Transfermarkt give an indication, they cannot be wholly relied upon for information. It’s like the wages websites you see – how can they know what a player is on? Flip it around – how many people you work with know what you’re on? What about your customers or the people you serve? I’d wager very few; the same goes for a football club. We all think we have an idea, but nobody really knows other than a handful of people.

Of course, football is different; the microscope is out, and there are certain facts we’ll be aware of. The summer of 2021 was tough in terms of spending, and it’s seemingly accepted that players we signed in that period are higher earners than some of our recent acquisitions. It just so happens that many of those players are coming to the end of those contracts. There are some whose contract was specified as ‘long term’, such as Paudie O’Connor, who I think is perhaps here for a bit yet. However, there are at least six with whom there is some debate.

Here are six players where a discussion around contracts has been had and what I think may happen.