Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Stars Must Be Worthy of New Deals; Earn Your Contracts, Says Black Cats Boss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Stars Must Be Worthy of New Deals; Earn Your Contracts, Says Black Cats Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown @brownygingerowl

SAM Allardyce says Sunderland's soon-to-be out-of-contract stars must prove themselves worthy of a new deal or risk subjecting their families to the "panic" of a free transfer.

Steven Fletcher, Wes Brown, Adam Johnson, Duncan Watmore, Danny Graham, Valentin Roberge and Charis Mavrias are out of contract at the end of the current season.

Only Watmore has thus far been considered by the Black Cats for an extension to his existing agreement.

But Allardyce says the rest should use the Wearsiders' battle for Premier League survival as motivation, be "massive contributors" to it and, thus, "negotiate from power" if and when they appeal to the club for a renewed deal.

"It's a bit too early to be dishing out new contracts in the position we're in," said Allardyce.

"Any contract to be talked about now would be something that we may consider but more often than not if it is a senior player it would be put on hold.

"If it is a young player, like a Duncan Watmore or anyone else in the Under-21s, then yes, but all the senior players, no.

"If a senior player is out of contract then he has to prove something, prove he is worthy of a new contract. It means he has to be a massive contributor to the team and if he can do that then he can negotiate from power.

"The fact he has kept us up means we will probably want to keep him."

Allardyce added: "If your contract is running out then where do Turn to Page 50 FROM BACK PAGE you go? It's not one of the easy situations today where a free transfer is the ultimate. It might not be what a player wants any more, because it can create panic in your life as a professional, with your family, that you might not get that ultimate contract which you think you are worth.

"If it's outside the Premier League then financially you are talking a small percentage of what you are earning now.

"So keeping a team in the Premier League, staying in the Premier League for as long as you can is what a player's goal should be. …

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