Ball put in Han-Noah Massengo’s court to stay at Bristol City as Nigel Pearson makes admission

‘The players themselves will in many ways dictate their own futures’ - Han-Noah Massengo will have the final say on his future at Bristol City

<p>Han-Noah Massengo remains a Bristol City player but for how much longe(Image: Fever Pitch) </p>

Han-Noah Massengo remains a Bristol City player but for how much longe(Image: Fever Pitch)

Nigel Pearson says that Han-Noah Massengo is the person that will decide whether he stays or leaves Bristol City as speculation continues on his long-term future.

The 20-year-old midfielder has reported to preseason training on time and remains a Robins player despite increased talk in the media about him leaving the club.

Massengo is entering the last year of his contract after arriving at Ashton Gate from Monaco for an undisclosed fee back in 2019 and City will be keen not to take a loss on such a talented player.

An offer was presented for him to extend his stay in the West Country back in January after a raft of extensions for other players but so far talks have reached an impasse.

Towards the end of last season, Pearson did hint that the lack of a new deal did impact him in choosing him when making his team selection, limiting him to a number of substitute appearances.

Though he is keen to work with him whilst contracted, he believes that is the player that holds the power on whether he wants to stay but will continue to use him as long as he remains a player at the club.

“I don’t think I’ve said anything other than if he stays here I’ll be really happy, but I’m also conscious of the other side of the argument,” admitted Pearson.

“That is that in an ideal world we don’t want players to run their contracts down especially when we’ve invested a lot of time and money in players.

“The ideal solution if Han-Noah stays is if he signs a new deal and that’s the outcome I’d prefer. If not I’m sure the speculation of leaving will continue. I try to keep my thoughts very simple. I don’t waste a lot of energy on dealing with stuff that is negative or a hindrance.

“The players themselves will in many ways dictate their own futures. If players are here I will utilise them if I feel the necessity to do that.”

The French Under-18’s midfielder was visibly emotional in the defeat to Huddersfield Town on the final day of the 2021/22 season but remains in the building and seemingly part of the plans for the upcoming campaign.

Reports from France back in May claimed that Ligue One club Nice held talks with the players representatives about him returning to the country.

Pearson’s former club Leicester City, now managed by Brendan Rodgers, were also attributed with interest joining clubs such as Freiburg, Olympique Lyonnais, Southampton and Watford.

His position is mainly to focus on the football aspects of the club like the day-to-day tasks of working on the training ground but has a strong say in who stays and goes.

It will ultimately be up to the CEO of the club Richard Gould and chairman Jon Lansdown however to persuade Massengo’s representatives to keep the player at the club.

But he remains in positive dialogue with one of his most important players despite the contract situation and said that it has not affected his opinion of how he views the player in a personal sense.

He said: “Han-Noah is a really good person as well. I hope we can find a solution that is satisfactory for all parties, that is what I would really like.

“I’ve had a couple of conversations with him already. The offer is still on the table for him. The ideal solution would be for him to sign his extension. It is what we would like because otherwise we have to protect our interests as well.

“The conversations I’ve had with him so far are along the lines of that I don’t think any different of him.

“I think he’s got value to the squad. His energy and aggression, he’s a popular player. Business and emotion don’t always fit together do they?

“I have to remain realistic about it but I think it’s clear from what I said that him staying and signing would be the best solution.”