Star pair offered new deals

Matt Phillips in action at Bolton
Matt Phillips in action at Bolton
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Blackpool have offered Tom Ince and Matt Phillips new extended contracts.

The highly-rated wing pair had the option to extend their existing contracts activated last week.

It means both are contracted to the club until June next year but now Pool are anxious to prevent them leaving on free transfers at the end of next season.

Ince and Phillips are both expected to attract renewed interest from Premier League clubs this summer, and longer-term contracts would increase the transfer value of both players.

Manager Paul Ince confirmed: “We all know the situation with Matty and Thomas.

“We have options on them but 12 months is not a long time, so we have offered them new deals. Twelve months isn’t long enough, and by January they will have clubs everywhere trying to speak to them. Those two are high on our list to look at.”

Pool are awaiting decisions from seven out-of-contract players they want to retain.

Alex Baptiste, Kirk Broadfoot, Stephen Crainey, Neal Eardley, Barry Ferguson, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Ludovic Sylvestre are all considering fresh offers to stay at Bloomfield Road.

While Ince isn’t sure if they will commit, he feels he could do no more. The manager added: “The talks I had with the players I wanted to keep were really positive.

“They have enjoyed life since Alex Rae and I have come in. I think they are happy with the things we are doing and what we are trying to change at the club.

“We are trying to change the culture and environment, and how people think around the club.

“I think we’ve done that in the short time I’ve been here and the lads are encouraged by that. There’s no reason why these lads shouldn’t want to stay here.”