Port Vale left back Cristian Montano feels he is close to reaching an agreement with the club about a new contract.
The 28 year old, who can also play on the left wing, emerged as a key player this past season, starting 36 games to help John Askey’s side reach the brink of the play offs when the campaign was suspended in mid-March.
He’s spoken to the manager about his future after being offered a new deal, and is hoping to extend his stay at Vale Park.
He’s one of seven players offered new contracts by Vale even though the club don’t yet know when next season will start or when crowds can be allowed back.
He told The Sentinel: “As a footballer, regardless of what plans you have or anything, you always want to have something offered by the club you are at.
“I am happy and grateful as well because of the circumstances everyone is being put under. I have worked hard and feel I have earned it as well, but then for the club and the manager to want to keep me on makes me happy.
“In the circumstances the club are in, they are willing to keep me and the other lads on by offering us deals.
“It shows how far the club has come and what the club is trying to achieve. I’m happy they want to be part of that.
“I have been part of Port Vale for the last three years now. I want to be part of something that looks so promising.
“Everything that is going on around the club is something I would like to be part of.
“In terms of the contract situation, I spoke to the manager the other day and told him how I feel. It was good to know how he feels about everything as well. We were both happy and hopefully we can get something sorted within the next couple of days or so. That’s what I am hoping for.”
Montano, who is settled in the area with his young family, is hoping Vale will be challenging again next season having been eighth when the campaign was put on hold and subsequently cancelled.
He said: “I know the fans are frustrated because they wanted to finish the season. I feel frustrated a little bit but we have had a great season.
“If all of us do sign, which hopefully we will, then we will have a platform to kick on. We know what we achieved this year as a squad and the capacity we have to kick on. Hopefully next season, whenever it may start, can be an amazing one again.”
Montano made an impact off the pitch last season when he spoke out about mental health, highlighting the problems he felt as a young player and how he was helped by opening up and talking to people.
In an interview to coincide with World Mental Health Day in October, he said he felt ‘a shadow lifted off him’ when he felt he could share his problems.
He has subsequently spoken to individuals about their own issues and is becoming an ambassador for Men Unite, the Facebook group founded to offer mental health support to men.
He added: “Anyone who is willing to speak to me, I am there for them. That is solely the reason I have decided to become an ambassador for Men Unite.
“What they do goes with what I want to do.”