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Ryan Bertrand Turns Down Southampton Contract Offer
Wednesday, 12th May 2021 09:07

According to media reports Ryan Bertrand's representatives has informed the club that with negotiations stalled on a new deal he will now leave the club at the end of the season after 7 years at the club.

Media outlet HampshireLive are reporting that they have been told that Ryan Bertrand's agents have now informed the club that he will not be signing the offer on the table and that with the club unlikely to make an improved offer for a player who will turn 32 before the start of next season t is now looking certain that the left back will leave St Mary's after 7 years.

Ralph Hasenhuttl told HampshireLive that the 32-year-old was still to sign the contract that the club had put in front of him with his terms now into their final two months.

They also claim that they were told separately that Saints made it clear to Bertrand that the time would soon come for them to withdraw their offer - and talks are now close to collapse.

The sticking point seems to be the length of the contract , although no one on either side will confirm or deny this it seems that the club are offering him a two year deal whilst the player himself wants 3 years, perhaps with the final year seeing him start to move more towards a role in the executive side of the club, Bertrand has expressed publicly that he sees his future in the game in the boardroom not on the training pitch.

Indeed he has in the past made clear that he would be happy to stay with Saints until his retirement, after which he is eyeing a career in the boardroom.

But Saints who have spent the last few years seeing transfer plans hampered financially by a number of players on high wages who are unable to get in the first team seem to want to avoid that situation with Bertrand.

They seem to feel that they will take the risk that he has another couple of years left in him, but that it is unlikely that he will be still able to play to the high standards needed in the Premier League as he approaches 35.

Even the biggest fan of Bertrand might concede they would have a point, Bertrand's game is a very high octane way of playing , central defenders, holding midfielders and centre forwards can adapt as their legs start to go, but for full backs/wing backs it is not quite so easy.

There will be those that take Bertrand's decision as a snub to Saints, but I think if he does leave then he should do so with the gratitude of all Saints supporters , since joining the club initially on loan in the summer of 2014 and then converted to a permanent deal in January 2015 for a fee of around £10 million he has been an excellent signing.

It may be that he does not play another game for the club Ralph Hasenhuttl has stated that his absence from the team at the moment is injury related and nothing to do with contract talks, but with only 3 games left even if Bertrand recovers for these fixtures it is likely Ralph will stick with those who will be here next season.

If that is the case Bertrand will end his time at St Mary's having started 213 Premier League games for Saints plus another as sub scoring 7 times, he also played in various cup competitions including 3 semi finals and 1 final adding another 20 starts and 1 off the bench as well as another goal to his tally.

This being the case Ryan Bertrand deserves to be spoken of as a Saints legend, a consistent performer who would challenge for the left back spot in a Greatest ever Saints XI.

Of course he would face stiff competition as it is a position that we have been blessed in over the years, but in the last half a century in that position only David Peach and Francis Benali have played more games and in the modern day game players who rack up over 200 appearances for a club are becoming a rarity

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saintlee added 09:51 - May 12
Don't think he's been pulling up any trees this season and not sure he's worth a 3 year contract. Been a great servant though and be sad to see him go. Onwards and upwards !!!
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TimSaint added 10:49 - May 12
Does he actually believe that based on his performances this season, that other teams are interested in him ? He has been mediocre and uninterested, but He and Saints were a good fit for each other, as his time here has demonstrated.
He has a big family, so I'm not sure he wants to move home, so I guess he is limited to the London clubs or Brighton. Perhaps as rumoured in January, he will end up at Arsenal.
Either way, it will be interesting to see if another Prem team actually offers him a 3 year deal, let alone a place on their board.

Good luck and thanks Bert
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SaintPaulVW added 11:25 - May 12
He was our best defender for several years. This year I don't think he has been as good. Age is against him. In a high mileage position he won't be getting any quicker.

Unless this is a risky negotiation tactic to break a deadlock, I think that's probably it.

I doubt we will see him play again so I wish him well with the rest of his career. Thanks for the great performances Ryan.

(At least we won't need to hear in every commentary about his Champions League Medal.....)
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highfield49 added 11:57 - May 12
I can't see him in the category of Saints legend or challenging for a spot in Greatest Ever XI either. Quality player who has served us well but been paid a more than decent living for his contribution to the team. I wish him well if he decides that his future lies elsewhere and media posts indicate some interest from Arsenal and Europe. Maybe he should make a phone call to Cedric before he sets his satnav to north London because I can't envisage either of them getting a lot of game time next season.
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SonicBoom added 12:05 - May 12
He's been an excellent player for us but strangely never really gets any affection from the fans unlike other club legends. Maybe because there's always been the underlying suspicion that he always thought he should be at somewhere better. Nonetheless he has been a great signing and we will be luck y to find his quality again.
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Crispinmumbles added 12:28 - May 12
give him 3 years!
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A1079 added 12:45 - May 12
I don't wish him ill at all, I do not understand why anyone would. He has been a good player for us on the whole for a number of seasons and was a fair price when we took him on. If he does leave, then I wish him well, but if he stays then I don't mind either. I do think age and pace is now catching up with him (and there have been times in the last season or so where he has looked disinterested and not tracked back to help out) but I am sure he can still do a job for someone somewhere if not with us.

But, the caveat is, does the manager/board have a better replacement in mind?
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NYC_Saint added 12:46 - May 12
Not only our best defender but for a few years also one of our best attacking threats when overlapping with Redmond. That element of his game has faded unfortunately and as such I understand the pragmatism of the contract offer. It’s a shame though as he’s a bright guy that started in the lower leagues before Chelsea. Part of me wonders if his expressed desires at the business end have threatened a few people who have comfortable incomes and see a smart ex player taking their role and thus deliberately making things awkward? Hope not but corporate strategy is always self serving. I for one wish him all the success going forward (figuratively and on the pitch too!) - a great servant and as nick says legendary status.
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Colburn added 13:17 - May 12
Since the very first moment he didn't sign what was offered, it seemed clear that this would be his last season and that he wanted a chance for one last big contract with maybe a signing on fee elsewhere. At his age, who can blame him? But the boardroom stuff seems more of a smokescreen than anything else.
He has been a great player for the club and deserves a good send off, so I wouldn't mind if he played in the last game or last home game. I just wish we'd have done this last year, got £5-8 million for Bertie and kept Targett because now we have no left backs and one right back and have to find the money to fill these slots..
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ItchenNorth added 14:24 - May 12
A class player and to play for 7 years at Saints is a real testament to his professionalism and commitment. I'd be sad to see him go if it happens. I'd rather he be given a 2 year contract and look to integrate him into the coaching setup in some capacity (which I understand he's wants to be involved with at Saints). You just can't buy experience and connections like that. Sign him up, even if we are in the market for his replacement this summer (which we are)..
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