Doncaster Rovers: Dickov puts contract talks on hold

Paul Keegan is one of 16 players out of contract this summer.

Paul Keegan is one of 16 players out of contract this summer.

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Paul Dickov will only enter into contract renewal negotiations once Doncaster Rovers have secured their Championship status.

Long serving winger James Coppinger, Ross Turnbull, Paul Keegan and David Cotterill are among 16 players out of contract this summer.

But those players will have to be patient when it comes to sorting out their futures, because Dickov wants to know in which division Doncaster will be playing first. “It’s hard at the moment,” said Dickov.

“When we’re setting budgets for next season, we have to know what division we’re going to be in first.

“The sooner we can get to safety, or closer to safety, we can start to sit down and keep our better players.”

In-form Coppinger, due his Rovers testimonial this year, is the most high profile name on the renewal list.

Short term deals for new recruits Abdoulaye Meite and Gabriel Tamas also expire in May, while Jamie McCombe and Billy Paynter’s contracts are also up.

The futures of youngsters Jonathan Maxted, Liam Wakefield, Josh Meade, Harry Middleton, Alex Peterson, Chris Whincop, Evan Finnegan and Jordan Binns, who all penned one-year deals last year, will also be up for review.

One man Dickov definitely wants to keep is midfielder Keegan, an injury doubt for this weekend’s trip to Brighton with a thigh problem.

“I don’t think it’s any secret what I think of Paul,” said Dickov. “He’s a top player for us and from the moment he walked in the door he’s shown a great desire to impress us.

“The best thing for me is that he comes into the team and there’s no thrills about him. He does his job and lets others go and play. Paul will definitely be one we’re looking to keep.”

Rovers will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run to five games at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough saw 19th placed Rovers go five points clear of the Championship drop zone.