It’s never a good idea for any club to allow a first team regular to enter the final year of their contract, because it leaves you with little leverage when it comes to negotiations.
Players and agents are fully aware that they can leave on a free and ask for bigger wages at the end of their deal, so it can pressure a team into paying more than they want to if they want to keep them.
The Mirror have confirmed that Sheffield United currently find themselves in that situation with John Lundstram, and it sounds like they are furious with him.
It’s suggested that they are frustrated because he’s rejected a new contract that would’ve put him up there with the top earners at the club, but he’s expected to run his contract down and they may freeze him out of the squad as a result.
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West Ham and Rangers are mentioned as the two clubs who are looking to move for him, and Sheffield United will be looking to move him on in January.
It’s an interesting situation, because in theory Rangers could take advantage of cross border rules and sign him to a pre contract agreement from January, while West Ham would need to agree a fee with their Premier League rivals and sign him straight away.
That means we could see a situation where Sheffield United are left even angrier as they’ll have no choice but to accept any bid for Rangers to move him in January if he does agree terms, otherwise they’ll need to keep him with the knowledge that he’s going for nothing.
In terms of his choices it’s the old average Premier League club vs Scottish Premiership debate yet again.
West Ham should be able to pay him a better wage but they have fairly incompetent owners and relegation always looks like a possibility, but it would allow him to stay in the Premier League.
Rangers can offer the prospect of playing for silverware and in Europe which should never be underestimated, while it would be a step up in pressure when it comes to fan expectations and media interest.
Obviously he would end up playing against a lower standard of opposition, but a lot of players retire without winning anything meaningful so that has to be a major consideration too.
There are also suggestions that Lundstram is a big Liverpool fan, so playing under Steven Gerrard would be a draw for him too.
Clearly it looks like he will be moving on from Sheffield United, but so it will be interesting to see what his options are and where he actually ends up.