Sheffield Wednesday: Llera future stays in balance

Improved form: Miguel Llera beats Wolves' Kevin Doyle in the air
Improved form: Miguel Llera beats Wolves' Kevin Doyle in the air
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MIGUEL Llera’s future has still yet to be resolved as he heads towards the end of his Sheffield Wednesday contract.

The centre half is currently an important member of a rejuvenated Owls side but will be 34 in August.

Chairman Milan Mandaric says that the current priority is for the club to give 100 per cent concentration to staying up and stabilising.

But he also said: “As far as new contracts are concerned, our manager is looking at every player. He (Llera) is one we have to look at.

“Our manager is quite aware of what he needs and what he doesn’t need; Llera is part of that, as far as I am concerned.”

Jones says that Llera’s age is “something we have to consider” when the time comes for the player’s future to be decided.

Says the Owls boss: “Miguel has been a stalwart. Like a lot of players at the club, he’s part of the reason why the defence isn’t conceding. He was also part of the problem when we were conceding.

“He needed basically a period to adjust to this level. We found we were a bit naive.

“Miguel has done absolutely superb.”

Jones also said, tongue in cheek: “The only thing he’s got to start doing now is scoring from a free kick. The fans chant for him and he keeps hitting that wall!”

Llera’s agent stirred things up in early January when he claimed that other clubs were interested, no new deal had been offered and the centre half may leave.

Wednesday knew they had him under contract until this summer and felt it was too early to negotiate.

If the defender is offered a new deal then the length of it may be an important issue in his eyes.

Jones understands the situation that players find themselves in when they are in the final year of their contracts, and the temptation if there is more money on offer elsewhere:

He admitted: “If I was a player, I’d let my contract run down, because there are so many opportunities out there. You also have to remember it’s their livelihood.”

He said that Wednesday had to match offers made by others and make players feel comfortable so they wanted to play for the club:

“I can assure you the majority of the players at this club want to be here.”

Mandaric is on record as saying he is not a fan of agents, though there are some good ones, and Jones tells a story about a player at a Premier League club who was not in the first team and had the chance of Championship football at a North-west outfit.

“The agent told the player to turn it down,” said the Hillsborough boss. “I think agents can tell kids to sit on their backsides and earn money. That’s not what we’re in the game for. You’re supposed to play and enjoy it.”