Sheffield United announced their retained list this week but one man to avoid being released was experienced midfielder John Fleck.
Fleck saw his long-time teammates Enda Stevens, Billy Sharp and Jack O’Connell all released. The Scot was among a cluster of players who many Blades fans thought would be sent on his way as well.
It proved to not be the case as United confirmed a new contract has been offered to Fleck.
However, according to the Sheffield Star, there is a twist when it comes to Fleck.
John Fleck contract situation not straight forward
The Star reports that United actually had an option to extend the Scottish star’s contract by another year on the previously agreed terms.
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But The Star reports that United have instead chosen to offer Fleck a new contract. Details of that contract are not given but it could well be that the board want Fleck to take reduced terms. Similar offers have been made to Jack Robinson, Ben Osborn and Zak Brunt – albeit those three out of contract completely.
Fleck is said to have interest from the Championship and Scotland. United, then, face a wait to see if the midfielder will indeed accept a fresh deal.
Sheff U News View: Decision needs to be reached soon
There’s not a huge rush and behind the scenes, there might be a quiet confidence about these deals. However, if the terms are reduced or not quite as favourable, it makes sense for Fleck and co to consider their options.
Fleck has been a massive player for United over a number of seasons now. Much like Stevens, O’Connell and Sharp, he’ll be remembered for being part of a group who brought huge success to the club.
Realistically, he’s earned the right to make the right choice for him and his family.
But while there is no rush, it does need sorting sooner rather than later. Paul Heckingbottom needs to know exactly what he’s working with. Should Fleck leave, it not only leaves a space in the squad but frees up more budget.
Hopefully, then, we get a conclusion from this pretty sharpish.