Date:Friday January 12 2007
It seems to me that this is going on far too long, but still reports keep coming in that Steve Sidwell`s contract conundrum will very soon reach a conclusion.
Well, if you ask me, it`s about time! Since the midfield ace refused to sign a deal last summer Reading fans have been tossing and turning in their sleep, spending anxious hours in doubt of what will become of him, and been in general worry and disillusion about losing one of the best midfielders this club has ever seen.
Sidwell has been playing some of the best football of his career this season, but he`s also been playing another game, hardball. While Sidders is close to the end of his contract, he may as well be playing in a shop window rather then on a football pitch. At the moment, as both club and player have stated before this is the best situation for everyone to be in; Reading get the most out of one of their star men and Sidwell gets himself advertised for the opportunity to move in the summer.
And because the prospect of a player like Steve Sidwell on a free transfer has got potential employers everywhere licking their lips, Reading have been rushing to put together a deal for Sidwell that he should find slightly more appetising then the one he was offered in the summer.
Reading`s Director of Football, Nicky Hammond, is very confident that Reading and Steve can find a compromise to the problem that suits both parties down to the ground:
"I'm very hopeful he will look at all the criteria in terms of what's important to him and then make the decision to stay,
'Conversations are continuing, and I think we're at the stage where we'll go back to Steve with another position from us, taking into account where we are at this moment,'
'We hope we can reach a solution, and it's important for him to see we're moving forward.'
And manager, Steve Coppell has revealed of his hopes Sidwell signing up to the club for reasons other then money:
"He knows he will play for us. He might not get the same satisfaction in a rotation system elsewhere.'"
And with the likes of Arsenal allegedly interested in taking back their ex-player, Coppell and Hammond will have to hope that is enough, after all Coppell clearly stated:
"We know what will keep him but the club will not mortgage themselves to stay in the Premiership."
In the meantime we know Sidders isn`t going anywhere till atelast the end of the season. I just hope the next time I bring you tales of the Sidwell saga it will be the final episode, and what`s more have a happy ending!
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