Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Duo's Contract Talks Put on Ice; Contract Talks on Hold for Cats' Pair

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Duo's Contract Talks Put on Ice; Contract Talks on Hold for Cats' Pair

Article excerpt

SUNDERLAND are stalling on contract talks with Lee Cattermole and Steven Fletcher while the club's Premier League fate hangs in the balance, writes JAMES HUNTER. Cattermole and Fletcher have just one more year remaining on their present deals, which means Sunderland must either tie the pair down to new contracts or sell them in the summer to avoid the risk they could leave for nothing next summer. However, Sunderland's precarious Premier League position is a stumbling block, the club understandably unwilling to commit to any new deals until it is clear which division they will be competing in next season.

The situation is not the same as the Wearsiders found themselves in 12 months ago, however, when their relegation battle meant contract talks with defender Phil Bardsley and midfielders Jack Colback and Seb Larsson were parked until the club's fate was determined.

That trio were all in the final few months of their contracts and the choice was between a new deal - Larsson choosing that option - and leaving on a Bosman free transfer with Colback and Bardsley both deciding to move on. Sunderland Turn to Page 44 FROM BACK PAGE Sunderland have two players out of contract at the end of the season - 35-year-olds Anthony Reveillere and Wes Brown.

Contract talks have already begun with former France international Reveillere and he has expressed a willingness to stay regardless of the outcome of the relegation battle.

However, Wes Brown's future is not so clear.

In addition to Cattermole and Fletcher, Valentin Roberge, Charis Mavrias and El Hadji Ba also have one year left on their contracts.

They will not be offered new deals, and Sunderland will try to offload them this summer.

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone is another with one year remaining but he is expected to depart in search of first-team football.

SUNDERLAND legend Kevin |Phillips was presented with the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award at last night's 10th annual Football League Awards in London. …

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