‘I’ve made it clear’ – Sheffield Wednesday favourite opens up on contract talks
Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan has said that he wants to stay at the Championship club and expects to have agreed a new contract in the coming weeks.
The 31-year-old’s current deal is due to expire at the end of the season and an offer was submitted by the Owls last month.
Former boss Tony Pulis revealed that, alongside fellow experienced hands Tom Lees and Adam Reach, a new contract had been put on the table for the Scottish international.
Bannan gave a positive update on those talks when speaking to the media ahead of the club’s FA Cup fourth-round trip to Everton this weekend.
“I’ve made it clear what I want to do, I want to stay at the club,” he told The72. “I’ve always made that clear. We’re nearly there and hopefully there will be some good news in the coming week or two.
“I’ve made it clear where I want to be. It’s difficult with the chairman not being in the country at the minute and Covid, it’s hard to get things done and over the line.
“But we’re nearly there so hopefully in a few weeks’ time this is all put to bed and we can concentrate on getting results.”
Bannan was appointed skipper ahead of this season, his sixth at Hillsborough since joining the club from Crystal Palace in 2015.
The central midfield playmaker has made 234 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals.
Wednesday reached the play-offs in his first two seasons at the club, falling short in the final in 2015-16, but have been mid-table in the three years since.
This season has seen a greater fall for the Owls, who are currently in the Championship relegation zone having already sacked two managers.
However, Bannan said that the managerial upheaval had no impact on developments on the contract front and his desire to remain at the club.
“I’m not really bothered to be honest who the manager is,” he said, “if Thommo stays or if a new manager comes in, I’ll back myself.
“Hopefully if a new manager comes in I can prove that I’m still a big player for this club. It’s not really playing a massive part in the decision.”
He also added that he did still harbour ambitions of returning to the Premier League, having played in the top-flight for both Aston Villa and Palace.
Sheffield Wednesday are currently a long way from that, sitting 23rd in the Championship table, albeit with a points deduction and games in hand.
But Bannan was insistent that he could still realise those aims while wearing a blue and white shirt.
He said: “There would be no point playing football if I didn’t want to play at the top level. I want to play in the Premier League again before I finish.
“I’ve always said that I want it to be with this club. Obviously it’s going to be tough this season but I’ll never give up that chance of getting this club in the Premier League.”