The manager looks to have indicated that negotiations over a new contract for Stuart Armstrong could lead to the midfielder leaving us, unless a deal can be struck quickly.
The club were in talks with the 25 year old for six months before he agreed a new one year contract extension. However, it means that we`ll have to enter into discussions with the player for the second time in as many years in order to prevent the player from leaving for nothing in 2019.
Brendan was quoted by the Scottish Sun as saying:
‘I have talked to Stuart briefly on it – I just want to help him become the best player he can be. He knows the opportunity he has here and I know he respects that. So I tend not to get bogged down too much with that. I have a strong relationship with him. Players are within their rights, if they feel the deal or the offer is not right or just purely if they don`t want to sign. But it`s two ways. If it`s not right for both parties then it`s not going to happen.’
From those words (suggesting it`s a two way affair), it looks likely we`ll be playing hardball with Stuart this summer. Rather than long, painstaking negotiations, it seems that the offer that we`ll put on the table we`ll be the only one he gets.
The midfielder isn`t in as strong a position as last year either. Injuries have curtailed his season, and unlike last campaign, he isn`t at the top of his game. If he does try to overplay his hand, it`s likely he`ll be shown the exit door this time.
It would be a shame if it does come to that, but it`s clear from the manager`s words that he is looking for full commitment from his players, and if Armstrong can`t do that then a sale is more likely than not.