D-Day for Pool’s out of contract stars

Blackpool's Ludovic Sylvestre (right) is among players being offered new contracts
Blackpool's Ludovic Sylvestre (right) is among players being offered new contracts
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It’s D-Day for Blackpool’s out of contract players.

Starting today, Paul Ince will hold face-to-face talks with each of them to reveal whether they are in his long-term plans.

Many of the 37 will be told they are free to find other clubs.

Players with 12-month options written into their current deals will have them activated today, meaning Tom Ince and Matt Phillips will be tied to the club for another season.

Matt Gilks, Stephen Crainey and Barry Ferguson also have options but are expected to be offered new terms.

Ludo Sylvestre, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Alex Baptiste and Kirk Broadfoot are among those completely out of contract. They are expected to be offered fresh deals to keep them at Bloomfield Road.

Ince confirmed: “I’ll sit down with everyone, starting today. It could go into next week. I was planning to get away but maybe I won’t now.

“I’ve never known so many players out of contract and that leaves me with a lot to deal with.

“Usually at the end of the season, you have four or five out of contract and you quickly know who you do and don’t want. But we have maybe 15 or 16 to sort out.”

Players who have options in their contracts have no say over their activation. Blackpool have until the third week of this month to confirm in writing their intention to extend the deal.

The complications come with players totally out of contract. Baptiste and Sylvestre are expected to be sought after and may choose to turn down Pool’s offer in favour of much bigger rewards elsewhere.

Either way, Ince wants things sorting quickly. “We have to try to get most of them sorting out as soon as possible,” he said.

“We make offers to the ones we want to keep, they go to their agents and it ends up going back and forward. It’s a long process.

“I just want to know where I am. In two weeks I want to know exactly where I stand.

“If they want to stay, then great; if they don’t, then let them go.”

Pool have already started the process of adding to their squad. Ince and his coaching staff have been out watching potential targets for the past couple of months.

But he’ll only start making moves when he knows exactly what he has to work with.

The Blackpool boss said: “If we get things sorted quickly, it will give me time to go after the targets we already have. That’s the aim.”