Derby County manager Steve McClaren says he won’t discuss new contracts for any of his players until the end of the season, according to the Derby Telegraph.
Well, the Rams boss was asked about the expiring deals of Chris Baird and Darren Bent in his pre-match press conference for the clash against Preston North End on Tuesday night, but was clear on what the situation is.
McClaren told the Derby Telegraph: “The key message we want to get out is that we are focusing on the rest of the season.
“There will be no negotiations of contracts until after the season finishes, that goes for any player.”
No, not really.
Derby currently lie 11 points from the play-off positions with 11 matches of the season remaining, and while a spot in the top six looks unlikely, they are by no means out of the race – although they may need to win the majority of their final league fixtures.
Well, both players moved to Pride Park on free transfers in the summer of 2015, signing two-year deals – with the option of a third year.
It really could depend on which division Derby find themselves in next season.
At 35, Baird is certainly getting no younger, and it depends on whether McClaren wants to stick with experience, or bring in a younger head.
It may be a different story for Bent though. The 33-year-old has scored nine Championship goals for the club this season, and it was perhaps rather telling that the Rams have failed to score in their last two league matches – fixtures that the striker missed because of injury and illness.