Gaetano Berardi avoided the stigma of being a Cellino purchase by the pure fact he refused to follow the example set by some of the others. Whilst the ‘Sicknote Six’ were crying off the Charlton game in 2015, an injured Berardi travelled with the squad. His contract is due to run out and fans are wondering about a new deal. In a ‘postbag’ article by Phil Hay of The Athletic, Hay writes that a new deal for the one-time Swiss international depends on how this season pans out.
Berardi’s refusal to follow the egregious example set by those players at Charlotn led to serious connections with the fans. His ‘side before self’ attitude has never been in doubt. A one-time Switzerland international bought from Sampdoria for a peanuts fee, Berardi has bled for the club after putting his body on the line numerous times.
With this set of circumstances at the forefront of their minds, and with Berardi being such a popular, committed member of the squad, questions about his contract situation were bound to arise. It’s only natural and it is something that Hay comments on.
With exactly 150 appearances under his belt, combined with the fact he’s a utility defender, has some fans almost pleading for a deal for him.
Hay adds, in his response to a question about a new deal for Berardi, that it is likely that the club will offer a short-term ‘bridging’ deal. This would cover from the end of June to a projected mid-July season end date. After that, well the decision, it seems, is Berardi’s and it is a decision dependent on the division the Whites find themselves in.
Hay writes that both Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa want Berardi to stay but he also adds that the popular defender has been tempted at times by a return to Italy and Italian football. Hay states: “the offer for Premier League football would be very attractive [for Berardi],” before tempering it with the warning of, “another year in the Championship maybe not so much.”
What will reassure Whites fans is Hay’s closing comment to the fan question that was posed to him. That answer? Well, that it wasn’t in Berardi’s nature to just walk away on June 30 with his official time at the club up.
Side before self…every time.
He’s earned at least a year.
No, not at all.
TIme to cut him loose.