Bristol City midfielder Matty James has confirmed a desire to extend his stay at Ashton Gate, though there’s been no contact over a new deal yet.
Bristol City added experienced midfielder James to their ranks in the summer of 2021, bringing him in upon the expiry of his Leicester City contract. Since then, he’s played 89 times for the club, chipping in with three goals and three assists in the process.
He’s been a regular this season, playing all 90 minutes in 15 out of 16 Championship games. James captained the Robins in the early stages of the campaign too.
There are some questions over the 32-year-old’s long-term future with Bristol City though. His deal expires at the end of the season and now, James has been quizzed on the matter by Bristol Live.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s game against Middlesbrough, the former Manchester United man admitted there’s been no contact from the club as of yet, but his stance is clear. He said:
“There’s been no contact from Bristol City as of yet, I’m just focusing on my own individual performances, making sure that I play well, personally for me and for the team, and pretty much it’s then up to the club if they want to come with a contract offer or they don’t.
“I think, for me, it’s just making sure that I play as well as I possibly can for the club for the time that I’m here but also for the possibility of the need to open a door up in the summer.”
He later went on to say:
“I would love to stay and help this club move forward. I feel like there’s a little bit of unfinished business in terms of where the club wants to go, from when I signed two a bit years ago.
“The ambition was to move further up the table and to get to the promised land of the Premier League and I feel the club is ready to do something and I would love to be around in the coming years to help do that. The ball’s in their court and I’d love to stay.”
An important part to play?
There’s no disputing the prevalence of James’ role under previous Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson. However, only time will tell if he can hold down the same amount of game time now that new manager Liam Manning has come through the doors.
That said, Manning aims to have his side control possession, and James seems to be an ideal fit for that.
At 32, James has a valuable level of experience and leadership. He’s got 225 Championship appearances to his name and given how well his attributes fit with Manning’s style of play, you can’t help but feel James will add to that total further yet.
It’s clear the Welshman is keen to stay put, so it will be down to Bristol City to tie him down to a fresh deal.