Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, last night revealed why he is confident that Harry Maguire will sign a new contract at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
Clough, who confirmed Bob Harris and Ryan Flynn are set to remain with the League One club, told The Star he would not prevent the England under-21 international seeking a move elsewhere if “he was a couple of years older”.
But, speaking ahead of this evening’s visit to Port Vale, Clough said: “Harry has got the right people around him giving him the right advice. Let’s say, for example, if he was 24 or 25 and we still weren’t in the Championship then I could completely understand him looking around because he’s got the ability to play at a higher level.
“But Harry is still young and he’s still got a lot to learn. People actually think he’s older than he is but you can’t buy the experience he’s getting from actually being involved.
“There’s nothing worse than seeing a talented lad go somewhere else and either not being involved or getting a few games and then dropping out again because they’re not quite ready.
“Hopefully Harry will help us get that promotion and achieve his ambitions here.”
Maguire’s present deal is set to expire at the end of next season and Clough added: “He’s happy here and he’s a homebird too so we’ll talk over the summer.”
United have options to retain the services of both Harris and Flynn before they become free agents at the end of the season.
“We’re very close with Ryan to agreeing something new,” Clough said. “That’s above the option.
“We’ll also take Bob and we can see if we can do something longer than just the 12 months we’ve already got on him too.
“This group has done well over the last few months. We’ll be looking to do a few things (in the transfer market) but we also want some improvements from the existing members of the squad too.”
Eighth-placed United are expected to be without Harris (groin) for a match which pits them against former manager Micky Adams although Stefan Scougall should return after missing Monday’s draw with Tranmere Rovers.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Micky,” Clough said. “He has got them up and done an excellent job in a quiet and unassuming manner.”