Sheffield United are continuing to hold contract talks with Chris Porter despite informing the centre-forward they will not be exercising a 12 month option inserted into his present deal, writes James Shield.
Nigel Clough, the League One club’s manager, outlined United’s position regarding Porter after officials at Bramall Lane published its retained and released list yesterday.
Fellow striker Shaun Miller is among those leaving South Yorkshire as Clough looks to make room for fresh attacking options with Marc McNulty of Livingston expected to fill the void created by the 26-year-old’s departure.
Darryl Westlake, Sean McGinty, Elliott Whitehouse, Jasper Johns, Jordan Hodder and Jahmal Smith are also leaving United while Matt Hill confirmed his exit earlier this month.
“There have been some tough decisions but we need to make way for new faces,” Clough said. “It is difficult, especially when you are dealing with good characters.”
“Chris Porter’s situation is a little different,” Clough added. “We’ve not taken up his option and because of that he has to go on the list of free transfers but we are still talking with regards to a new contract.”
United’s stance regarding Porter suggests they are attempting to renegotiate the player’s terms and conditions rather than simply extending his present agreement for a further 12 months.
However, goalkeeper Mark Howard, together with defenders Bob Harris and Terry Kennedy, have seen similar agreements triggered.
Aged 30, Porter scored 11 goals in 41 appearances for Clough’s side last season after being recalled from a loan spell at Chesterfield.
Miller, who joined Shrewsbury Town on a temporary basis in March, saw his progress hampered by a serious knee injury sustained against Scunthorpe midway through the 2012/13 campaign.
United’s neighbours Rotherham, Chesterfield and Yeovil Town, relegated from the Championship last season, are among those being linked with his services.
McGinty and Westlake also spent time on loan elsewhere after failing to command regular places in Clough’s first choice eleven.
Joe Ironside remains on United’s books but it is understood that Clough will not stand in his way should he find employment elsewhere.
Like Whitehouse, he was a member of the team which reached the final of the FA Youth Cup in 2011 and has previously represented Halifax and Harrogate Town.