Nigel Pearson will need to discuss with the Bristol City board who he wants to keep this summer. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson will have several major decisions to make as he guides the club through the January transfer window.
French star Han-Noah Massengo was the subject of an £8 million bid from Premier League club Watford during the summer and the midfielder is also believed to be attracting interest from Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg.
City revealed pre-tax losses of over £38 million last month as playing fixtures behind closed doors and a drop in profits from players sales hit the club’s finances.
That could limit Pearson’s ability to add to his squad this month as he looks to guide the club away from the lower reaches of the Championship table.
Transfer business is understandably high on the agenda for Pearson, but the City boss will also have to make some big decisions on players coming into the last six months of their current deals at Ashton Gate.
Five senior players are now eligible to negotiate pre-contract agreement including former Premier league winners Danny Simpson and Andy King - although the latter has a year option in his deal.
Neither player has been a regular in Pearson’s starting line-up this season and it would be a surprise if either formed part of the City squad next season.
Striker Chris Martin is another experienced player heading into the closing months of his current deal.
The former Derby County and Norwich City has struggled to find the net this season - although he is by no means alone - and has just five goals in 24 appearances in all competitions.
The former Scotland striker has the option of a further year written into his current contract.
Republic of Ireland winger Callum O’Dowda’s deal is also up for renewal at the end of the campaign - although like Martin, it is understood there is an option for an extra year.
Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol in November ahead of a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield United, Pearson said: “Callum's 26. I don't think he'll mind me publicly saying, Callum knows he's in a position where he's had a frustrating time with injury.
“I like Callum a lot. Hopefully he can stay fit and get a run in the side where he shows what he's capable of.
“Where he's currently playing suits his game. He worked exceptionally hard for the team the other day, in both directions. And that's really important.
“We need a team full of players like that. We're not in a position to have luxury players.
“That's where we are at the moment. I'm not suggesting that should be the case anyway, I'm not a big fan of having luxury players.”
Young goalkeeper Harvey Wiles-Richards, defender Robbie Cundy and forward Louis Britton- who has just returned from a loan spell at Woking - will also see their contracts expire at the end of June.
Looking further into the future, the summer of 2023 could be a hectic one for City with 12 current squad members due to be out of contract.
They include goalkeeper Daniel Bentley, defender Rob Atkinson and midfielder Matty James.
Former England Under-20 international Taylor Moore is also in the final 18 months of his deal and he is currently on loan at SPL club Hearts.
There has been a boost however as Cameron Pring has put pen-to-paper on a deal that will see him stay for a further year, with his new contract now due to expire in June 2024.