Bristol Rovers captain earns new deal... subject to his partner’s approval first

The Bristol Rovers captain is set for another year at the Memorial Stadium

Paul Coutts followed Joey Barton after leaving Fleetwood Town last summer. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Paul Coutts followed Joey Barton after leaving Fleetwood Town last summer. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Paul Coutts followed Joey Barton after leaving Fleetwood Town last summer. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has revealed that captain Paul Coutts is in line for a new contract with the club.

New deals have already been given out to Luca Hoole and James Belshaw, but now Coutts is the latest to be in contention for extended terms.

The news will come as a relief to Gas fans that another player is happy to commit their future with there being a number of players out of contract at the end of the season, with the list now shortening.

The 33-year-old has played in 34 games in League Two this season and is regarded as a huge figure in the dressing room, beyond his captaincy.

There is a sticking point however for him staying at the Memorial Stadium, is that discussions will have to be held with his partner over him staying for a further season.

‘He was announced on a one-year contract, but there was a clause where if he played 23 games, he got another year,” revealed Barton.

“He hasn’t spoken to his missus about it yet. He’s engaged the extra year. His missus is back in Aberdeen, so you might be breaking the news to her that he has another year,” Barton joked.

“He’s been outstanding and that is not what you see on the pitch. What he has done in the dressing room, he is probably worth £15m to £16m.”

Coutts’ new deal would leave Antony Evans and Sam Nicholson as the only other two regular first team players to sort their contracts out.

One player on the periphery of the first-team is Trevor Clarke, who is also out of contract at the end of the season.

Clarke, who joined from Rotherham United on a one-year deal, has endured a frustrating spell in the West Country.

Rovers do have a one-year option to extend the contract of the 24-year-old, but Barton was in the market for a full-back back in January.

He made his first league start for Rovers since December, mainly due to an injury, as well as the form of Nick Anderton and then Harry Anderson, when he has been required to fill in at left-back.

“He’s had such a tough season,” said Barton.

“He started at Mansfield if you remember on the opening day of the season. He’s then had setback after setback and credit to Trev, he’s worked hard, certainly in the last six or seven weeks because he’s been fit and ready to go.

“But obviously, the lads who were playing in front of him were doing superb so he couldn’t get an opportunity to get minutes but he kept working and he kept training really well and then Nick picks up an injury.

“I felt Trev really gave us a different dimension. Some real legs on the outside and I was pleased with his performance considering how long he’d been out.

“He’s got an opportunity now to showcase what he can do in this last period. His first start in a long time and he got tired towards the end of it, so we took him off as a precaution, but I was really pleased with his overall performance.”