Bristol City players face eight-month audition as some ‘playing for their contracts’

A number of key first-team players are out of contract next summer at Ashton Gate

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Nigel Pearson says it is ‘healthy’ that a number of Bristol City players will be playing for their futures this season.

The Robins have a number of players out of contract at the end of the season, with only Han-Noah Massengo’s contract situation well documented.

Pearson admitted earlier in the summer that he didn’t want players running down their contracts due to the time and resources invested in them.

Talks remain at a stalemate regarding Massengo staying at Ashton Gate, but he is not the only player who’s future is up in the air.

Eight other first-team players including club captain Daniel Bentley, joint-top league scorer Nahki Wells and club record signing Tomas Kalas will see their deals run out next summer.

“No, not with some of them. Now is too early,” said Pearson

“I think it is important players play for contracts. You know what the scenario has been for the last two summer windows when players contracts have been up. I don’t want to get ahead of the situation.”

Over the last two summers, long-serving players such as Callum O’Dowda and Jamie Paterson have departed for pastures new after their time at the club came to an end.

Eight games into the season however, the City manager believes that now is not the time to be making decisions on players long-term futures.

There was a desire to impose a self-placed wage cap on the squad whilst previously he has admitted some players are on contracts which would need to be altered.

Out-of-contract pair Chris Martin and Timm Klose have seen their roles in the team reduced slightly this season with other players preferred to them in the early stages of the campaign.

Max O’Leary meanwhile is another player who’s future is undecided, the addition of Stefan Bajic who signed a long-term deal is sure to make competition for the starting berth that is held by Bentley a competitive one.

On the flip side, Zak Vyner who seemed likely to leave this summer has become a regular in the side once again, recently making his 100th appearance. Vyner’s long-term future isn’t guaranteed but he has been part of the side that is currently two points of the automatic spots.

Pearson added: “At some point, I am sure individuals representatives will have a chat with Richard at some point. It will be driven by also conversations we have internally about where we see the squad developing.

“There is an awful lot of football to be played before some decisions are made on players. I have no problem at the moment saying that there are some players that will have to continue to play for a new contract. I think it’s quite healthy really.”