Leeds United boss explains contract decisions
LEEDS United boss Neil Warnock has explained his decision to offer new contracts to six first team players while releasing five and transfer listing another six, including midfield star Adam Clayton.
After announcing his list of retained players, Warnock revealed that the club had offered or were in talks with Robert Snodgrass, Aidan White, Ross McCormack, Zac Thompson, Tom Lees and Michael Brown over new deals and were hoping to have decisions in the next few weeks.
White and Brown are the only two out of contract players to be offered terms while Alex Bruce, Lloyd Sam, Mikael Forssell, Danny Webber and Maik Taylor were released yesterday.
Warnock said: “We’ve offered Aidy what I think he is worth. I’ve had a good chat with him and he is a player we rate highly.
“I’ve told him it’s not about going somewhere for money and not playing a game. The grass isn’t always greener.
“With Michael I’ve offered him a new deal, but it is extremely reduced from last year.
“It’s up to Michael what he wants he to do now. I’m sure he’ll have other offers to think about and consider, but he’s good to have around the place and he’s an experienced player.
“He’s probably been one of the best players since I came in and he’s surprised a few people. I am looking to bring players in that area, but I’d like to think he will come back and surprise a few people again next season.”
Snodgrass, McCormack and youngsters Lees and Thompson are still under contract for next year, but they have been offered deals in recognition of what the manager sees as their contribution in the season just finished and potential for the next few years.
Warnock explained: “Snods is a special player and it’s no secret that we’ve made him a good offer and I want him to be here next season.
“He’s seen a lot of his team-mates depart and I felt we had to make him a top-rate offer.
“I’ve spoken with Ross, he is being offered a new deal, and we’ll see what happens there. He has had a good season and he has worked very, very hard.
“I’d like to think we will have a clearer idea over the next two or three weeks with all of them, certainly by the end of the month.
“I think Tom has probably been the one bright spark at the back. He’s made individual errors and he’s got to learn, but he’s improved his all-round game to such an extent that he was one of the first names on the team-sheet. I can’t give him a bigger compliment than that.
“I’ve told him there will be plenty of competition at the back because I am looking to bring in defenders, but he has every attribute.
“Tom’s a great lad, he’s Leeds through and through and I see him having a great career here.”
Warnock said he would have liked to keep midfielder Clayton and indicated he could still feature for the Whites next season if no suitable offer came in for him, but he had been put on the transfer list after failing to agree a new contract.
He added: “Adam has done quite well since I have been here. I just feel we need a change in certain directions and when I talked to his representatives I think it was clear that we were not going to get near the ball park, where they want to be on the wages side. So it was pointless dragging it on.
“If we don’t get the figures, Adam will come back and fight for his place and that’s what I have said to him.
“It does not mean the end of the world for these players. I have just got to look to wheel and deal and I want to bring in a large influx of players.
“We let five or six go yesterday and let two or three go a couple of weeks ago so we are working on thinning the wage bill so I can bring players in.”