We take a look at half-a-dozen players who are inside the final year of their existing contracts – and who may well be attracting admiring glances
The transfer market has long since shut but, as we know, speculation exists all year round.
Most of those rumours and gossip talk may concern Premier League clubs, but don’t forget about those in the Championship.
Clubs are again likely to be busy when the next window opens in January.
And among the options they will be eyeing up are those players who are in the final year of their respective contracts – and there are plenty in that boat.
Here, we look at six stand-out Championship players whose current contracts expire at the end of the current season – and who could well be approached for moves as early as January.
Lawrence’s club Derby are in all sorts of bother and earlier this week they entered administration.
That will almost certainly mean a clutch of players have to be sold in January to balance the books. Lawrence, captain for the Rams, is arguably their best player.
Whether they would want to cash in on him in January is unknown. They would obviously be better served with him in the team, but by January it could well be too late. Either way, it’s unlikely he will extend his stay at Pride Park beyond the summer, given the precarious position the club is in.
Lawrence’s Wales colleague Brooks impressed in his debut Premier League season with Bournemouth.
Since then, it’s been a frustrating two years on the sidelines due to injury knocks and lay-offs.
There’s no questioning his natural talent. And under new boss Scott Parker, Brooks has looked fit and sharp in the early weeks of the Championship season.
He could be a bargain pick-up either in January or an absolute steal come the summer.
Another talented midfielder, Swift has been a mainstay in Reading’s engine room for six seasons now.
He is currently joint-top scorer in the Championship with an impressive seven strikes in eight outings.
Given Reading’s uncertain financial situation, they could ill afford to lose Swift for nothing come next summer.
That may lead to a bidding war for him in the January window. He’s been linked with more than one Premier League side.
A popular figure at Millwall, Wallace’s impact on the team seems to have grown year-on-year.
But there is uncertainty on his future. With his deal inside the final 12 months, he was recently quizzed on the subject.
He said: “There was a conversation a few months ago (about a new contract) and that’s been documented. I’m just doing what I do best, really.
“I don’t have much expertise in contracts and negotiations. I’m just concentrating on playing football, playing the best I can.”
He’s certainly lived up to the latter so far, delivering three goals and three assists.
The Blackburn Rovers striker was an unlikely summer hero during his sojourn to the Copa America with Chile.
He won plenty of headlines and plaudits for his performances in South America and he’s taken that form to his domestic duties, notching four goals already this term.
Despite all that, he is yet to agree new terms but Rovers are said to be “confident” that a deal will be agreed.
But that won’t stop other clubs sniffing around – especially if his goalscoring form continues in the same manner.
Johnstone was on the bench for the Euro 2020 final but remains a Championship player, perhaps to many people’s surprise.
The West Brom stopper was widely expected to depart following Albion’s relegation last season.
Indeed, his manager Valerien Ismael even said in the summer that it was his “expectation” Johnstone would leave.
But a move never materialised, despite top flight interest. And Johnstone has been reintegrated into the first team, helping them challenge near the top in the opening months.
When quizzed on Johnstone’s contract situation, Ismael said last week: “We want, for sure, to have clarity, but at the minute, everything is fine…. we will work really hard behind the scenes to make sure we can get the great result we want.”
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