In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Carlton Palmer has claimed that he thinks Owls skipper Barry Bannan will stay at Hillsborough past his current deal.
The 31-year-old is currently out-of-contract at the end of the season after what will be his sixth season in the blue and white stripes, though new manager Tony Pulis did confirm that he had offered the midfielder an extension.
He told reporters last week:
“Barry, Leesy and Reachy have all been offered new contracts. That’s something that the chairman is dealing with.”
However, it is thought that the former Palace maestro will only agree on a new two-year deal if Pulis gets backed in the January transfer window with the Owls staring down the barrel at the prospect of relegation from the Championship, as per the Mirror.
Earlier in the summer, Wednesday knocked back a ‘number of bids’ from promotion hopefuls Brentford, according to Football Insider, so Bannan may well not be short of options should he want to leave.
Although Palmer believes the Yorkshiremen have enough power to keep hold of the veteran – between the fans’ admiration for him and the £24k-per-week wages that he’s currently on…
He told FFC:
“It’s always difficult when you say ‘stay or go?’ Barry Bannan has been one of the best players there for the last few seasons.
“With all due respect, Sheffield Wednesday pays, so it’s a case of where Barry is going to go. He came from the Premier League and if I’m being honest, I think he’s just short of the Premier League.
“I think he’s a good Championship player, so where is he going to go in the Championship that’s going to pay him any more money than Sheffield Wednesday? I thought maybe Neil Warnock might have come in for him at Middlesbrough or something like that because they could pay the salary. I’m sure there will be takers in the Championship for those teams at the top.
“But as I say, Barry does love Sheffield Wednesday, the supporters have taken him to heart, and he’s earning good money there. It’ll be an interesting one. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him stay because of the options that’ll be available to him.
“I don’t think a Premier League club would come knocking for him. He’s just short of that but he’s a very good Championship player.”
This season, the Scotsman has proven to be one of Pulis’ most influential players, scoring two goals and assisting two more in 19 starts, whilst also managing to average 1.4 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
It remains to be seen if Bannan will indeed sign on the dotted line, whilst he may well want to wait and see what division the club are in before making such a decision.
If the Bees wanted him in the summer, then he would surely not be short of options in the upper echelons of the English second-flight should the Owls go down to League One.