Why Sheffield Wednesday have put talks with out-of-contract on the back-burner

Player contract talks have been put on hold for the next "month to six weeks" as Sheffield Wednesday seek to finish the 2018/19 campaign with a flourish.

Wednesday chief Steve Bruce
Wednesday chief Steve Bruce

The Owls, lying in 16th position, have nine first-teamers, including Keiren Westwood, Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper, whose deals run out this summer.

But Wednesday chief Steve Bruce says he is in no hurry discuss the future of the players who are out-of-contract with chairman Dejphon Chansiri.

Wednesday chief Steve Bruce

He told The Star: "It might not be right at the back end (of the season), but certainly there will not be anything done over the next month to six weeks.

"I want to have a good look and that includes training. We have 24 outfield players training, it is a lot of players to be looking at and that is not healthy.

"I do not like a squad of 24 and taking a squad of 19 and leaving six or seven behind. We will trim the squad down and give everybody a chance. That still stands. I still have not seen five, six or seven players play yet."

Bruce hopes central defender Tom Lees will be passed fit to face Rotherham United tomorrow. The captain has sat out the goalless draws with Reading and Millwall due to a shin problem.

Winger Rolando Aarons, on loan from Newcastle United until the end of the season, is pushing for a first start after making two appearances as a substitute while fellow January arrivals Dominic Iorfa and Achraf Lazaar are yet to be handed debuts for the club.

Long-term absentees Sam Winnall, Gary Hooper and Kieran Lee are still unavailable for selection.