Morecambe make contract offers for next season

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Ged Brannan has revealed a number of Morecambe players have been approached over the possibility of staying at the club next season.

Adam Mayor’s departure for Millwall means no Shrimps player has a deal beyond 2024, raising the possibility of another summer of upheaval.

Asked about the prospect of another squad rebuild at last Friday’s fans’ forum, the Morecambe boss said: “We’ve approached seven or eight already and made them offers.

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“We really want to keep them. We know they are top players but it’s hard when clubs are offering double their wages.

Morecambe boss Ged Brannan Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty ImagesMorecambe boss Ged Brannan Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images
Morecambe boss Ged Brannan Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images
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“Hopefully we can get in the play-offs and keep them.”

Co-chairman Graham Howse added: “What we’re trying to do is break this cycle of people leaving at the end of the season.

“There’s been offers made to players but we can’t hold guns to people’s heads. We’re making the best offers to them we can afford right now.”

A number of the present squad’s contracts were handed out by Brannan’s predecessor, Derek Adams.

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He explained the thinking behind their short-term nature last October, citing a desire to keep players hungry, while also acknowledging the club had options on some of those deals.

In response to a question on how the option system works, Morecambe CEO Ben Sadler explained: “We have a number of players on a trigger where, if they start a certain amount of games, they will get another year.

“What we’re looking to move to is, if we offer a year, we have a club option for another year.

“The financial muscle in this league and League One is far in excess of where we’re at.

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“What we can offer the lads is a known quantity. They know who they are coming to work for, they are playing at a club that supports them.

“They know they will be playing and backed by a manager and staff.

“I’m hopeful we can get a few over the line on better deals for the clubs moving forwards; I think we’re all on the same page, we have to crack on, do our best and that’s what we’ll do.”

The club’s other co-chairman, Rod Taylor, expanded it on further, saying: “It isn’t just players who want a few quid but we’ve got agents.

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“Sometimes, when agents get into a player’s mind, it scrambles them; they can be distracted, they can turn off and not be themselves.

“That’s one of the issues with football. It’s not just about the players, it’s other things surrounding that that people like Ged and Ben have to deal with.”

The January window saw all five scheduled season-long loanees depart the Shrimps with top scorer Michael Mellon, Eli King and James Connolly the principal absentees.

Having signed Oscar Threlkeld last November, Brannan has brought in another nine players since the turn of the year.

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Five of those are loanees with Brannan acknowledging talks have already opened on possible returns next season.

He said: “We’ve spoken to Bolton about Nelson Khumbeni and to Wigan about Joe Adams. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to keep them for next year.”

“We’ve got a really good relationship with Nottingham Forest so, hopefully, we might be able to get a couple of their players.”