Contract talks on the back-burner at Sheffield Wednesday – at all levels

Sheffield Wednesday could have a completely new-look side next season.

By Joe Crann
Monday, 19th April 2021, 5:00 pm

The Owls have a whole host of players out of contract at all levels in the next few months, with senior stars, U23s and youngsters in the U18s all potentially approaching the end of their respective spells at Hillsborough.

But while there is a need to try and plan for the future, The Star understands that contract talks are very much on the back-burner at present – with neither the club nor the players willing to commit to anything at this point in time.

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For the first team, the likes of Keiren Westwood, Tom Lees, Jordan Rhodes and Adam Reach are just a few of the senior players who will be leaving as things stand, and there’s certainly been no movement of late with regards to any of them.

Club captain, Barry Bannan, is the only player to have put pen to paper on a new deal, and it seems likely that he was an outlier in the situation given his role as skipper and a long-serving, integral member of the group.

Looking at the younger generation, the likes of Alex Hunt, Ciaran Brennan and Liam Waldock – who have all featured for the first team this season – all have one-year options on their deals, but they are yet to be exercised as the season winds down.

With Wednesday’s Championship status very much up in the air, it comes as no surprise that neither side – the club nor the players – are too focused on looking beyond the end of the current campaign.

Sheffield Wednesday have plenty of contracts expiring - at all levels. (Isaac Parkin/PA Wire)

Several members of the U23s are unsure at this stage whether they have a future beyond this season at Hillsborough, and the same can be said for the U18s who are approaching the end of their respective scholarships.

It’s thought that contract talks will ramp up next month once it becomes clear what lies ahead and the Owls know what sort of budget they’ll be dealing with, but nothing is expected before then despite growing interest from elsewhere.

English Football League rules state that ‘any Club wishing to re-engage a Contract Player whose contract is due to expire on 30 June must… notify him in writing by the third Saturday in May in the final year of his contract’.

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