Writer: Mike Field
Date:Monday August 18 2008
Ashley Young looks set to be the next player rewarded with a contract and wage extension according to Martin O'Neill.
After successfully tying Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew to contract extenstions in the last week or so, Martin O'Neill is moving onto other players such as Ashley Young.
In another report Bouma's name was quoted as another player Martin intends to sit down with, and as promised, the fact Bouma will be injured for most of the remaining year will not matter too much for the club as they look to take care of the player, much in the way they did Mark Delaney.
Speaking on the official site, O'Neill explained that he was keen to reward those players who were doing the business on the field and Ashley certainly falls into that category.
'Ashley has been fantastic for us. I'm pleased Gabby and John have signed new contracts and we've got a couple more players that we are looking to do exactly the same with - with Ashley Young being one of them.
'We are in conversation about that. I don't think the chairman has any major problem about sorting out wages for people if they are doing the business week in and week out on the pitch.
'Agbonlahor has done that in my two seasons here, Carew has been terrific since being swapped with Milan Baros and Young has been absolute class.
'It means he will get a new contract.'
O'Neill continued to explain that this round of multiple contract extensions wasn't at the behest of the players, it was simply the club wishing to reward their work and efforts in our name. O'Neill has long believed that players should be rewarded on a merit basis and he was hoping to introduce bonuses based on success (if people remember those comments early last year). It seems this is the start of it and although no details will ever be leaked, I suspect strongly all of the newer contracts the club have signed with players lately will be based on performance related play, goals, assists, clean sheets, final league position and Cup(s) progress.
Not a bad thing in this day and age of massively overpaid players. At least our bunch will get the big money by making us happy and not for sitting on the bench and putting in mediocre performances.
'Ashley hasn't come and asked for anything. He has got a number of years left to run on his contract but I'd like to sort him out and I am sure he is enjoying his football here which is great.
'If he continues to play in the fashion he is for us, who knows what might happen to him in the future but we would be delighted to keep him a bit longer.'
Date:Monday August 18 2008
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