Reports emerged this morning of the unhappiness of Hammer of the Year contender Mikael Antonio and most fans were concerned. The loss of one of our star performers and fan favourite would be awful news and thankfully there is no need to panic as yet.
It is true that a contract offer has been discussed with Antonio and so far it has not been accepted. The offer has been on the table for a while and the lack of acceptance is not new news. It is also accurate that Antonio has been offered a significant wage increase and he feels he deserves it. Our signing from Nottingham Forest believes however that he is entitled to be made one of the highest earners at the club which would be a huge increase on the wage that he is on now and therefore negotiations will continue but this is nothing to be concerned by.
The situation is similar to that of Winston Reid a year or so ago who also was offered a new deal which took a while for him to sign. Naturally these things do because agents try their very best to get the best that they can for their client and Antonio still has over 4 years to run on his contract so there is no rush to get it completed. There has also been no offers or interest made for the player from any of the top clubs yet and this also contributes to there being less urgency for the signature at this point.
Reports that he is unhappy with the medical staff appear to be wide of the mark as the injury was a hamstring injury which cannot be prevented. It was only a couple of days ago where Antonio was in the press naming positions that he believes the club need to strengthen in and this was a hint that he is already looking to the new season.
Whilst in the ideal world the contract would be offered and it signed immediately because the player is desperate to play for us, this is rarely the case now. Contract negotiations can take their time as players look to make as much as they can in their relatively short career. At this point however I would say that there is no need to panic and this is felt by the club itself. All parties involved are confident that an agreement will be reached in due course.
In other news, I am told that in training today the team set up with one change to the Everton game. A player who I thought had played really well apparently picked up a knock and as a precaution has dropped to the bench. Meaning that Noble returns from suspension and another player goes out of position. Of course things can change and I heared this first thing on a Friday but so far the selections have not changed from this point in the last few months.
We are also delighted to announce Mad dog Martin Allen as our next and final guest of the season for the Liverpool event. Get your tickets here for what should be a great event: bit.ly/TWHWTICKET10 Thank you to all those that do attend and tune in to our radio show. Here’s to a big game tomorrow and hopefully three points.