Doncaster Rovers: Gavin Baldwin reveals when contract discussions will begin with raft of senior players whose deals end next summer

Gavin Baldwin
Gavin Baldwin

Gavin Baldwin insists Doncaster Rovers are ‘ahead of the game’ with their plans for both January and the end of the season.

Chief executive Baldwin will meet with manager Grant McCann and chairman David Blunt this week to finalise plans for the next transfer window and specifically address the futures of the 19 senior players whose contracts expire next summer.

The extension of loan deals for Herbie Kane and Mallik Wilks, potential recruitment and out-goings will all be discussed.

Also, a timeline will be drawn up regarding when negotiations will begin with out of contract players McCann hopes to retain.

And Baldwin believes the club will be in a strong position by the New Year.

“We’ve got pinch points during the year where we need to talk to players well, well in advance,” Baldwin told the Free Press.

“Players who we hope to keep beyond this season who are out of contract, we would talk to them months and months in advance and hopefully get an agreement well in advance.

“This meeting will create a formal document for what we want to make happen and agreeing the times when we need to do it.

“There are clauses in certain players’ contracts about when we can extend their contracts and when we should if we want to.”

“We’ve written some contracts in our favour where we can extend them for an extra year for instance,” Baldwin added.

“That is very specific to say it should be done in a certain month, with negotiations with that player.

“We’re in a good position. We’ve mapped out which players we’re going to talk to, when we’re going to talk to them and what position that will put us in.

“The way we work is that if it was the end of the season tomorrow, we would know now what we were going to do.”

Rovers last season activated a clause in Joe Wright's contract to extend his deal for an extra season and are keen to negotiate a new contract with the 23-year-old.

The Free Press understands the club already have verbal agreements with some players who are happy to stay.

And Rovers are keen to finalise deals with those they want to retain before the end of January, ideally before.

Baldwin says there is plenty of wriggle room in the playing budget for McCann in January having not spent all the funds made available before the end of the summer transfer window.

The top priority of the club is reaching agreements with Liverpool and Leeds United over Kane and Wilks respectively.

“As Grant was clear about in pre-season, he hasn’t spent all of his budget any way,” Baldwin said.

“There are funds to work on extending loans and those are conversations that are very positive and on-going at the moment. We're already having conversations with the Liverpools and Leeds of this world.

“But he could also look at bringing in new players or player trading if there is someone he wants to get out on loan for more experience.

“We expect to say this is what we’re doing and go and formalise those discussions.

”Grant will go and make everything happen that we discuss in the meeting.

“We’re ahead of the game.”

Players reaching the end of their deals include skipper Tommy Rowe, Andy Butler, James Coppinger and goalkeepers Marko Marosi and Ian Lawlor.